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THE theory maintained in this work may seem perhaps 
somewhat bold. But when I think of the two principal classes 
of readers who are called upon to judge it, my fears are 

On the one hand, those who only speak in virtue of facts, and 
who take their stand on the value of arguments, will be with 
me entirely. They will very soon perceive that the author has 
treated one of the most burning topics in the future of 
international relations without any preconceived idea. On the 
other hand, those who allow themselves to be influenced by the 
good and generous sentiments which lie at the bottom of every 
well-balanced soul, will be grateful for a conclusion, wherein the 
cause of human dignity and fraternity is made to triumph. The 
judgments passed on this work (which appeared quite recently 
in France) by the critics of the French Press and other eminent 
Continental minds reassure me further as to the welcome which 
the great English public will give it. Civilisation, or, if it be 
preferred, Anglo-French humanity, does it not show at present 
in Europe most reassuring tendencies in regard to the harmo- 
nious evolution of justice between races and peoples ? 

England, which first dared to enter into alliance and friendship 
with a yellow people, and afterwards to render to it the tribute 
of admiration which it deserved, and, with England, France, 
which now for a long time has conceded the rights of citizens to 
black peoples, are destined to direct and some day bring to 
a successful issue the emancipation and the lifting up of the 
so-called inferior races. 

May I be allowed to urge yet another plea for the indulgence 


of my readers ? The author of this book had the honour of 
being among the first who preached in France the Anglo-French 
rapprochement and friendship. When my first works appeared 
in 1901 on that subject, mocking voices were raised to show the 
impossibility of an entente between two races which were so 
inherently different and, presumably, antagonistic ! 

Among other things, special stress was laid on the innate (?) 
enmity which existed between the Bretons and the English. 
But it was precisely Breton journals and my Breton friends 
who were the most zealous in defending this work of fraternity 
between two peoples so closely connected by common thoughts 
and common preoccupations. The Times, in a remarkable 
article on my efforts in this direction (November 1st, 1902), 
was right in maintaining that it is often sufficient to breathe on 
the subjects of our discord to see them vanish. The union of 
a few men of goodwill has succeeded in overcoming the 
stupidity of the theory of races and of age-long prejudices ! 
For it is often enough not to believe certain conventional 
lies in order to render them nil and harmless. 

Anxious only for truth on the subject of races, we meet on 
our way with the triumph of justice, equality and fraternity. 
These three principles are seen to be more inseparable in 
this domain than anywhere else. All those who bow before 
their beauty and practical value will easily forgive me the 
somewhat tedious routes which lead towards what I consider 
to be the only really scientific solution of the struggle between 
peoples who differ in origin, colour and blood. 


Paris, 1906. 










































The method of the work and its genesis. The importance of the 
subject. The man God and the man Beast. Towards truth. 

THE conception of races, once so innocent, has cast as it were 
a veil of tragedy over the surface of our earth. From without 
it shows us humanity divided into unequal fractions. There 
are aristocratic and superior peoples, peoples chosen to govern 
and to be admired. There are others, inferior, slaves of the first, 
enduring the suspicion and contempt which come to them from 
all sides. 

From within this same falsely conceived science of races 
likewise encourages hatred and discord among the children of 
the same common country. 

On one side, organic inequality (anthropology), based on the 
data of a science badly defined and subject to all kinds of error ; 
on the other, anthropo-psycho-sociological inequality (anthropo- 
sociology or psychology), which, in addition to the unsteady foun- 
dations of the former, introduces a phraseology borrowed from 
fantastic and ephemeral doctrines. Finding it impossible to 
identify races with our modern nationalities, which are mix- 
tures par excellence of the most diverse ethnical elements, the 
doctrine of races endeavours to divide peoples according to their 
component parts. No longer able to set races in opposition to 
one another from outside, it incites them to quarrel from within. 
In examining the shape of skulls and noses within the frontiers 
of the same country, it tries to frighten us by revealing hostile 
elements wrongly amalgamated. These populations, we are 


told, group themselves according to their craniological and nasal 
peculiarities, and only marry in virtue of principles favoured by 
the anthropologists ! 

The new doctrines, being derived from passion and from 
passions, can only maintain themselves by the audacity of 
their originators and want of reflection on the part of their 
adepts. True science, violated and deterred from its object, 
is transformed into a fair for depreciated and adulterated 

The sanguinary instincts which slumber at the back of our 
conscience, being thus encouraged and emboldened by the 
supposed necessity and benefits of hatred, are allowed free 
play. It is in the name of science that we speak to-day of the 
extermination of certain peoples and races as well as of certain 
social classes, on the ground of their intellectual or morphological 

Where the divergences of skull or colour are silent, anthropo- 
psychology begins to speak in favour of inequality on the 
ground of contrary and hostile temperaments, aspirations, and 
mentalities. Men are in this way thrown into groups not 
only by reason of their features, which are infinitely various, 
but also because of acts done in the past and of acts which they 
omitted to do, and even of those which one may deem them 
capable of doing in the future ! 

Pretexts for mutual strifes have become innumerable. The 
Americans tell us that no way is possible of making " white " 
virtue enter into the " black " body of a Negro. The 
Germans maintain the necessity of exterminating, if not the 
Slavs, at least the Poles, whom they regard as culpable for not 
wishing to lose themselves in the German stock. 

Russians frighten us with the dangers which the "Yellow 
Race " presents for the future of the Whites. Turks massacre 
Armenians from the same motives as the Russians persecute 
the Jews and the Finns. 

Every land has its furious " nationalists," who add to their 
contempt for the foreigner a similar contempt and hatred for 
some section of their compatriots. In the meantime pan- 
Slavism, pan-Germanism, pan-Anglo-Saxonism, pan-Magyarism, 
pan- Americanism, and many other ethnical concentrations, often 


seek and always find reasons for sacrificing those who stand in 
the way of their unmeasured appetites, which appetites are dis- 
simulated under the falsehood of unity of blood and common 

People against people, race against race, mind against mind, 
citizen against citizen ; cries of battle, persecution, and exter- 
mination on every side ! 

What truth is there in these doctrines, which are declared to 
be scientific ? Fed by vulgar passions, they influence politics 
from people to people, from citizen to citizen, and indirectly 
affect all our social and moral existence. Probe the motives of 
international life as well as those of the inner development of 
every civilised land, and you will perceive what weight these 
fictitious conceptions of race possess ! 

Currents of thought sway humanity like those of the atmo- 
sphere do a balloon poised in mid-air. 

On the reality or unreality of this principle, which dominates 
at the present hour the secret or avowed aspirations of the 
peoples, depends the whole of their future. Peace among 
peoples and the crown of such a peace that is, the vast solidarity 
of mankind, the dream of the future can in any case only 
triumph when founded on the conviction of the organic and 
mental equality of peoples and races. 

If only from this point of view, our work deserves to attract 
and to retain the attention of the reader. 

Above these considerations, however, soar the claims of scien- 
tific truth. Are there really irreducible differences between 
races and peoples? Are there really superior and inferior 
peoples in an anthropological or psychological sense ? 


The extent of our thesis seems almost illimitable. The 
science of races, properly speaking, includes the science of 
man. In virtue of this, all its numerous ramifications deserve 
to find their place. There are, to begin with, a dozen natural 
sciences. In speaking of human morphology, how can we 
forget anatomy, biology, and physiology ? To understand the 


relative value of races, can we leave out hygiene and pathology ? 
We have, moreover, anthropometry, with its principal section, 
cephalometry. After that come anthropology itself and ethno- 
graphy, inasmuch as this last is in immediate contact with the 

We cannot understand the man of to-day without examining 
the man of yesterday. Since he is only a simple link in the 
evolution of things, his near and remote parentage must be 
included under survey. Geology and palethnology on one side, 
and on the other the sciences of the animal and the vegetable 
worlds, should likewise not be forgotten. 

Moreover, since we are dealing with a psychic and intellectual 
being, we must also examine him in the manifestations of his 
intellect and conscience. We are thus bound to find room for 
psychology, sociology, and with them statistics, criminology, the 
history of sciences and inventions, etc. What shall we say, 
lastly, of history, which ought to furnish us with the key to the 
evolution of races ; and of political geography, the function of 
which should be to throw light on the problem of their diffusion 
over the earth ? 

The science of races in these circumstances assumes the aspect 
of an immense empire summing up the intellectual and 
biological evolution of man across the ages. This conception, 
although imposing, is far too complex and too obscure. 
Would it not be better to sacrifice much of its ephemeral 
grandeur for the sake of clearness and precision ? If we thus 
limit the grand horizon, and reject everything which does not 
enter directly into our domain, might we not present our 
problem in a simpler and more convincing manner ? 

In considering the method of our work, we have thought fit 
to adopt one which would throw the most light on its genesis 
and its slow elaboration before arriving at its definite expression. 
The reader in this way has the advantage of assisting at the 
development of an idea as though it were the formation of 
a living being. 

We begin with the act of birth. In the presence of doctrines 
more and more exclusive and dogmatic on the inequality 
and the inevitable struggle between races, the author sets 
himself to find the arguments for and against this theory. 


We have only chosen as guides impartial doubt and direct 
observation, using, moreover, the no less impartial study of 
facts observed by others. Attracted by the vast movement 
created around the prophets of inequality, we enter into their 

We do our best to understand their arguments and their 
grievances (Chap. I), in order to distinguish what truth or 
error may reside in their pessimism. But how is this to be 
attained ? 

Let us apply ourselves to the animal and vegetable world, 
and let us find out what races and variations come into being 
in this milieu ; how they are born, what is their length of years, 
and above all in what way they are distinguished from human 
races (Chaps. II and III). 

Armed with these data, we endeavour to examine human 
divisions (Chap. V). Bewildered by the chaos of general classi- 
fications, we have recourse to those more precise ones which 
are based on the divergences of human forms. Without any 
preconceived idea, we study the numerous compartments in 
which anthropologists of every kind have enclosed the different 
branches of humanity (Chap. VI), and at last, seeing how fictitious 
and purely imaginary these limits are, we try to sum up our 
doubts to the best of our abilities (Chap. VII). 

As our first essay proves unfruitful, we turn to other 
fields in order to find some glimmers of truth. As we question 
in their turn the milieu, cross-breeding, the law of organic 
co-ordination, and the intellectual life of humanity, they answer 
us with reassuring affirmations on human equality (Part II). 
Resisting the conviction which is thus forced on our mind, we 
submit it to a kind of inspection by questioning that astound- 
ing science which under the name of anthropo-psychology 
or sociology has done most to destroy the ideas of human 

We proceed to consider in the first place the psychology of 
peoples, this mother more serious of aspect and more balanced than 
her fickle child, anthropo-sociology. We see her, however, a prey 
to flagrant contradictions and disfigured by numerous falsehoods 
(Part III). We then return to the source from which she de- 
rives these poisonous elements. To analyse the value of modern 


peoples, it is first necessary that anthropo-sociology or psycho- 
logy should know the value of their principal constituents. 

Inasmuch as they base their oracular deliverances on the 
voice of blood, which speaks across the field of history, they 
should at least be able to distinguish its essential characteristics. 
Do they know anything about it ? And what do they know ? 

We now arrive in the midst of Aryans, Gauls, and the so- 
called Latins, which are worlds of which they never cease to 
speak as the best explored and the most perfectly known 
(Part IV). 

From every side we get sarcastic replies, railleries, and con- 
tradictions ! Surely, we say to ourselves, this quasi-science 
proceeds in a very strange fashion. Instead of going from the 
known to the unknown, she follows the opposite route and 
builds on mysterious and unfathomable chasms. After ad- 
mitting that the past mocks her, does not the present by chance 
decide in her favour ? Is it a fact that peoples condemned to a 
mixture of blood perish irremediably from an intellectual and 
biological point of view ? 

The example of France comes under our notice as a striking 
protest against all such exaggerations (Part IV, Chap. IV). But if 
superior peoples do not degenerate after cross-breeding, may not 
inferior ones be raised to the height of the so-called privileged 
races ? If that were the case, would it not be a convincing 
answer in favour of the inanity of all the doctrines of irreducible 
racial gradations ? 

Besieged by this doubt, we pass on to the Negroes (Part V), 
who are relegated to the most humiliating place on that ladder 
where human beings are artificially arranged. Here a new 
wonder awaits us, for these semi-monkeys, by the intellectual 
progress which they have realised in these last years, give a 
finishing stroke to all those declamations on the subject of the 
acquired or innate intellectual inferiority of particular peoples 
and races. 



Truth at last seems to smile on us. In summing up our 
impressions by the way, we perceive that they assume the form 
of a precise and comforting affirmation. Surely human beings, 
who in the past sinned through too much pride, are anxious to 
expiate their faults by an excess of modesty. The " gods on 
the earth " of long ago are wrong in identifying themselves on 
all points with the most backward animals. Some time ago 
they despised the links which unite them to the two kingdoms ; 
nowadays they exaggerate the resemblances and forget the 
distinctions. After having believed for a long time that the 
earth is the centre of the universe, and that man, its king, 
incarnates in himself the finality of nature, we are now victims 
of a defect equally extreme in an opposite sense. We have 
forgotten to take into account intellectuality, which gives man 
a peculiar position in the evolutionary chain of existence. 
Under the sublime forms of soul, conscience, and thought, it 
places a peculiar stamp on our life, and furnishes us with 
innumerable motives and a field of action without limits. 
Although differentiating our souls, it still preserves their unity 
owing to the analogous essence of their biological basis, and in 
this way prevents any such division of the human race as would 
render a return to unity impossible. On the other hand, what 
we call civilisation, this synthesis of progress realised by our 
intellectuality throughout the ages, has it not always militated 
against races and human inequality ? Is it not civilisation which 
dissolved primitive societies founded on unity of blood, and 
which established as a principle the commingling of all with 
all, the general "pan-mixture," the universal "half-breed"? 

The attraction of mutual interests has replaced prejudices, 
and frontiers have disappeared like the sacrosanct privileges of 
castes and social classes. Where, then, is the refuge of pure 
and superior races in the anthropo-sociological sense, if these 
ever existed ? How can they be portioned out, and especially 
how can we appreciate the value of an element which is 
henceforth beyond all investigation? For even the appeal 


to the past proves unfruitful. It only answers us in contradictory- 

When one meditates with the gravity which becomes man on 
all these problems on which his destiny depends, the heart- 
rending cry of Goethe's Faust comes back to one's memory 
"Alas! alas! thou hast shattered with thy terrible blow the 
wonderful world of external divinities ! It falls, it dissolves in 
ruins ! O thou, powerful among the children of the earth, 
rebuild it more beautiful than ever." 





INEXORABLE doctrines on the inequality of human beings, 
adorned with a scientific veneer, are multiplied to infinity. 
Based on craniological differences, the largeness or smallness of 
the limbs, the colour of the skin or the hair, &c., they endeavour 
to appeal to a sort of pseudo-science, with its problematic laws, 
unexamined facts and unjustifiable generalisations, as a guarantee 
of their audacious theories. The number of these theories is 
incalculable. To use the expression of Charles the Bold, they 
are like a "universal spider," traces of which are visible in 
every sphere of our life of action and thought. Despotic, cruel, 
and full of confidence in their laws, the creators and partisans 
of all these doctrines do their best to impose them as dogmas of 
salvation and infallible guides for humanity. 

Among these doctrines, which are so diverse and yet so alike 
on their fantastic sides, those which are founded on the cranio- 
logical variations of men have exercised the widest and most 
lasting influence. They also have the greatest number of 
adherents and the most zealous. 

It was Count Gobineau who laid the foundations (Essai sur 
I'intgalitt des races humaines, 1854 ; 4 vols). His work, which 
constitutes an enthusiastic psean in favour of so-called superior 
races and a merciless condemnation of those styled inferior, is 
a veritable arsenal of arguments from which all the champions of 

B 2 


the persecution, oppression and extermination of weak peoples 
and races have drawn. 

Of an inquiring mind, learned, however, in mere odds and ends, 
a mediocre stylist and a savant far too paradoxical, Qobineau was 
never taken seriously in his native country of France. Men saw 
personified in him a combination of Amadis and Don Quixote, 
those heroes of dreams and adventures so dear to his imagina- 
tion. Treated as a diplomatist among savants and as a savant 
among diplomatists, he himself was the cause of the discredit 
into which his works fell, by the publication of doleful and 
whimsical poems of 20,000 verses ! 

His A madis has perhaps done more to depreciate his name 
than the flagrant contradictions with which his Essai sur les races 
and his Histoire des Perses abound. To these one must add his 
tales and novels of studied extravagance, such as Akrivia 
Phrangopoulo and Le Mouchoir Rouge. A brilliant talker, a 
delightful man in his worldly relations, Gobineau easily made 
people forgive his faults as a writer. In Paris people forgot his 
" graphomania " to remember only his social gifts. The writer 
as well as his literary works would have sunk altogether into 
oblivion, had not fate willed that he should meet Richard 
Wagner towards the end of his stay in Rome. 

The great musician was profoundly moved by the divine 
grace of " Gobinism " which, after proclaiming the division of 
men into superior and inferior, placed the sceptre of royalty in 
the hands of the Germans. What must have struck the Master 
most forcibly was that France was suddenly relegated to the 
subsoil of humanity and her population destined to irrevocable 
decadence. The first among Germans was singularly flattered 
in being at the same time, as a consequence of the Gobinistic 
religion, the first among human beings. Thus Gobineau, whilst 
still living, had the good luck of being borne by Wagner's 
genius into his divine Walhalla. The genial musician, who was 
at the same time a somewhat naive philosopher, was astonished 
at this new key which opened for him the enigma of the 
decadence of peoples. Instead of his old dogmatic explanation, 
the abuse of meat, here is offered him a plausible solution, 
namely, the mixture of races. As long as the Aryans came from 
Asia to make good from time to time the waste of superior blood, 


so Gobineau taught him, humanity maintained a certain level. 
But their immigrations having ceased, humanity becomes a prey 
to an invading corruption. The brachy cephalic multiply like 
vermin and repulse the dolichocephalic on every side. Ruin 
threatens them in all directions. Who will escape it? The 
purest perhaps that is to say, the Germans and the English. 

Gobineau taught that the inequality of races (whose meeting 
forms a nation) sufficed to explain all the connecting links of 
the destinies of peoples. The philosophy of humanity is 
reduced to this absolute truth that everything which is great, 
noble and fruitful on the earth, that is, science, art and civilisa- 
tion, springs exclusively from one sole thought and belongs to one 
sole family, the various branches of which have ruled in every 
civilised country in Europe. And this chosen people, this 
divine family, is none other than the Aryans, of whose 
legendary existence and fictitious influence we shall speak 
later on. According to Gobineau, of the seven chief civilisa- 
tions of the world, 1 six belonged to the Aryan race and the 
seventh, that of Assyria, owed the Iranian renaissance to the 
same race. What is modern civilisation if not that which was 
created by the Germanic races which in the fifth century 
succeeded in transforming the genius of the West? But 
these Germanic races were simply Aryan races. They were 
endowed with all the energy of the Aryan variety. Gobineau 
sententiously affirms that this was necessary in order that they 
might fulfil the part to which they were called. After these 
Germanic races, he tells us elsewhere, " the white species had 
no more power and activity to give. The Teutons completed 
the discovery of the globe and they took possession of it by 
making it their home before spreading it with their half-caste 

The multiplication of humanity by way of mixture of races 

1 These seven civilisations are represented, according to Gobineau, by (1) 
the Indian, a branch of the white Aryans ; (2) the Egyptian, which was 
created by an Aryan colony from India which settled on the Upper Nile ; (3) 
the Assyrian, with which were associated the Jews, Phoenicians, Lydians, 
Carthaginians, and Himyarites ; the Zoroastrians and Iranians who ruled in 
nearer Asia under the names of Medes, Persians, and Bactrians, constituted 
a branch of the Aryan family ; (4) the Greek, likewise founded by Aryans ; 
(5) the Chinese, an Aryan colony from India, introduced civil life there ; (6) 
the ancient Italic, whence sprang Roman culture, and which was a mixture of 
Celts, Iberians, Aryans and Semites ; and (7) the Germanic, essentially Aryan. 


soon resulted, however, in a howling promiscuity, and our prophet 
cannot find words violent enough to denounce such defilement 
This poor Aryan clay in this manner became lost as far as one 
could see ! " After the age of the gods, when it was absolutely 
pure, the age of heroes, where the mixtures were slight in 
form and number, and the age of nobles, it advanced more or 
less promptly according to localities towards the definite con- 
fusion of all its elements owing to its heterogeneous unions." 
There remains, alas ! nothing but hybrids. The portion of Aryan 
blood " which alone upholds the structure of our society " is thus 
being absorbed. And when the last pure drops of this privileged 
blood shall have disappeared, we shall enter into the "era of 
unity, the era of general and universal mediocrity, that is to 
say, into the all but nothingness." This will be the fearful 
dissolution of the Apocalypse, the reign of mournful and 
desolate darkness ! " Human herds, no longer nations, weighed 
down by a mournful somnolence, will henceforth be benumbed in 
their nullity like buffaloes ruminating in the stagnant meres of 
the Pontine marshes " ! 

The creator of " Parsifal " greatly relished this philosophical 
synthesis of humanity. His optimistic temperament, however, 
revolted against this inevitable fatality. What ! Are all men 
on the road to decadence and savagery ! Can there be no 
salvation for the Ideal ! And here Wagner appeals to the 
Divine Redemption which baffles Gobineau's pagan mind. The 
Aryan hero, the Saint, shall win back the world by the con- 
templation of the Saviour on the Cross ! 

But the theory of Gobineau still holds its own, strong and 
unassailable for his faithful adherents. The pessimism and 
bitterness which are the sap of this theory continue to afford 
strong nutriment to all the branches which issue from its trunk. 

His admirers thus never cease being haunted by this tragic 
vision which poisoned the life of their master. For all of them, 
the impure races, recruited from among the brachycephalic, rush, 
like the Huns devastating ancient civilisation, to the assault 
of the pure races, the Aryans, who are regarded as angels from 
heaven. On all sides they only hear the groanings of the great 
and noble, the noise of towns falling in ruins and the anguish 
of the highest who are passing away. Like the medieval 


chroniclers who in terror of Attila depict him, now with the snout 
of a pig and now as the scourge of God, they show us the earth 
attacked and consumed by human insects representing 
everything which is most ignoble and most repugnant. 


A condemnation of principle, however, weighs on all these 
ethnological dramas which end invariably like the fifth act of a 
third-rate tragedy. All the heroes slaughter one another and 
only monsters remain to crush underfoot the Good, the Noble, 
the Soul, and Humanity. 

Let us say, however, that Gobineau never attempted to 
dissimulate the motives which led him to write his Essai. For 
him indeed it was only a matter of bringing his contributions 
to the great struggle against equality and the emancipation of 
the proletariat. Imbued with aristocratic ideas (did he not 
even impose on his contemporaries his own genealogical tree, 
the ramifications of which extended to the first Vikings who 
invaded France ?), he thought it useful to oppose to the 
democratic aspirations of his time a number of considerations 
on the existence of natural castes in humanity and their 
beneficial necessity. 

We can easily understand that this exaggerated, dark and 
ill-balanced picture which claimed to destroy everything which 
we admire and love as progress and civilisation, buoyed up 
by an empty phraseology and generalisations clashing with 
acknowledged facts, only indifferently convinced those pre- 
disposed in their favour. Even the anthropologists of that 
time showed themselves very refractory to the objurgations of 
this new " Scourge of God." 

It has been found that Gobinism displayed too much 
pessimism in the face of too little knowledge, and that even its 
ideas of barbarous and inferior peoples lacked clearness. Since 
the brachycephalic, more vigorous and healthy, succeed in 
exterminating the fairhaired dolichocephalic, the future must 
belong to them and civilisation has only to range itself under 
their banner. After all, can one so easily destroy the work of 


so many centuries of progress? Does not history show that 
evolution is only the eternal linking of the past to the present 
and that life is born of death ? Why then grieve over the 
triumph of those who must necessarily triumph ? We are 
tempted to repeat to Gobineau those memorable words of 
Marcus Aurelius to Verus. "If the Gods have willed the 
Empire to Cassius, Cassius will escape us, for thou knowest the 
saying of thy great grandfather, ' No prince has slain his 
successor.' " 

This is also perhaps the reason why France was insensible to 
the apprehensions expressed by Count Gobineau. Germany was 
all the more stirred by them. Having entered the Wagnerian 
Olympus, Gobineau became one of its divinities. His cult soon 
assumed the form most likely to glorify the writer and his 
theories. An association, the Gobineau Vereinigung, composed 
of many Germans and of some French, undertook to popularise 
his name and ideas. All the fruits of his many-sided muse were 
carefully translated into German and in addition to these, some 
unpublished works as well, which Gobineau's sense of decency had 
compelled him to relegate to the bottom of his desk. Thus the 
Gobinistic cult arose. The members of his church set before 
themselves the duty of proclaiming the glory of their prophet 
and the profundity of his views. They were rilled with zeal. 
According to Professor Schemann, the present President of the 
Gobinist Society, the author of the Essai sur VinegaliU des races 
is as great a philosopher as he is a great poet, a great moralist 
and a great orientalist. His admirers will even honour him so 
much as to declare that he is a " German " ! 

Gobineau never ceased making ravages into the brains of 
his adopted fellow-countrymen. The notion of superior and 
inferior peoples spread like wildfire in Germany. German litera- 
ture, philosophy, and politics were profoundly influenced by it. 
In the name of the salvation of the superior race, that is, 
" the Germans," it has been attempted at Berlin to justify the 
proceedings of the conquest of the new provinces and their 
German isation to the utmost extent. 

The disciples of Gobineau like Ammon * and Chamberlain 2 

1 Die Oesettschaftsordnung und ihre natiirlichen Grundlagen and Die natur- 
liche Audese beim Mensr.hen. 

8 Grundlagen des XIX Jahrhundertt. 


have only enlarged on their master and prophet. According to 
Ammon, the dolichocephalic, incited by some irresistible attrac- 
tion, go into the towns. There the elite of Humanity are to 
be found. Unfortunately, the harmful atmosphere of large 
human agglomerations succeeds in killing off men with narrow 
skulls, so that their number is constantly diminishing. Demo- 
crats with round skulls (the brachycephalic) take their place 
and so the level of humanity falls. 

Chamberlain, although of English origin, is likewise received 
in Germany with open arms, whereas England makes light of 
his sanguinary theories. He also like Gobineau glorifies 
Germany and is glorified in return. There is something strange 
in this spontaneous and enthusiastic naturalisation which 
Germany tenders to a pure Gascon like Gobineau and to a no less 
pure Englishman like Chamberlain. 

Is it a case of that innate relationship of ideas of which 
Goethe speaks ? Chamberlain, however, attaches less import- 
ance to the anthropological basis and lays special stress on the 
sociological and psychological data. We shall, however, have 
occasion to consider this theory later on. 

French by origin and German by adoption, Gobineau had 
the incomparable honour and glory of inspiring many writers 
and savants and thus of influencing in a very vivid way the 
life of a whole people. He created a nucleus of ideas which is 
far from being extinct. 

Humanity, always more sensitive to evil than to good, always 
more attentive to voices which preach hatred than those 
which proclaim love, has tamely followed the teachers of 
inequality and still follows them. 

The theory, however, maintained by Gobineau, decidedly 
lacked a scientific veneer. The works of Darwin had not yet 
appeared. Thanks to Darwin, the scholastic method of Gobineau 
will soon be galvanised. 


Selection with its corollaries enters the scene with Galton, 1 who 
proclaims the exclusive influence of the factor of race in human 
evolution. His studies lead him even to a sort of fatalistic 

Inquiries into Human Faculty. 


belief. He regards inferior races as a human misfortune which it 
is necessary to combat at all costs. To him we owe " the aris- 
tocracy of eugenics," those men of privileged skulls, scions of 
superior families, who are called by destiny to all the good 
things in life. The State ought to watch tenderly over 
their multiplication, encourage their marriage, facilitate 
their existence and even provide for the future of their 
progeny ! 

Numerous English and American savants side with Galton 
and Darwin in preaching their gospel of the survival of the 
fittest and the benefits of selection. We do not intend to 
analyse the works of all these authors of more or less repute 
and popularity, for their number never ceases to grow, while 
the direction of their thought takes more and more fantastical 
turns. But in order to characterise the value of their tendencies 
we shall speak of the most influential among them as they 
come. Thus, for example, according to Professor Haycraft, 1 the 
differences among men correspond with those among animals. 
By selection it would be possible to produce men as dissimilar as 
the bulldog and the old Sussex dog or the tumbler and the wild 
pigeon. In every case humanity must only be reproduced 
by choosing the best among its specimens. The author in 
consequence praises contagious diseases, alcoholism and other 
afflictions from which humanity suffers because they possess for 
him the merit of killing off the most feeble] and thus making 
room for the aristocratic products of humanity. 

But if English and American writers have specially deduced 
from it practical conclusions as to the amelioration of public 
health, the gospel of human inequality has assumed in France 
and Germany still stranger aspects. 

In France it is Vacber de Lapouge who justly passes as the 
most authoritative representative of the new doctrine. Faith- 
ful to his principles and convinced of their justice, he defends 
them in all his works 2 with seriousness and ability worthy of 
esteem. As jurist, zoologist, psychologist, physiologist and 
anthropologist, the author appeals to all the sciences for argu- 

1 Darwinism and Race Progreat. 

9 See among others his Selections socioles (a course delivered at the University 
of Montpellier in 1888), his Memoirs on FHeredite dans la Science, politique, 
the origins of the Ombro-latint, the neolithic Pygmies of Soubes, etc., etc. 


ments in favour of his doctrine. Coming later than Gobineau, 
he depends on the theory of selection which is conspicuous by 
its absence in the Essai sur Vinegalite. In M. Vacher de 
Lapouge, the new doctrine finds a most eloquent defender, and 
it is enough to examine his books in order to know all the 
weapons which his co-religionists, both adepts and learners, will 
afterwards use. 

According to Lapouge and his disciples, the morphological and 
characteristic differences of races or principal species are equal 
and even greater than those which exist among the most distinct 
species of the canine, feline and coleopterous orders. The 
two fundamental elements in the present populations of the 
West, the European and Alpine man, have in this sense clearly 
marked differences. 

In the case of the first, the cephalic index is from 72 to 76, 
and that of the bare skull from 70 to 74, with tendency to 
increase by the widening of the front part of the skull ; general 
conformation, longilinear. In fact we have before us a dolicho- 
cephalic in all his beauty. 

He has great needs and works without ceasing in order to 
satisfy them. " He earns money more easily than he can save 
it. He accumulates wealth and loses it with ease. Adventurous 
by temperament, he dares everything, and his audacity assures 
his incomparable success. He fights to fight, but never without 
an afterthought of the profit to be gained thereby. He is logical 
and never wastes his words. Progress is his greatest desire. 
In religion he is Protestant, and asks only that the State respect 
his activity. He is to be found in the British Islands, and still 
constitutes the dominant element in Belgium (maritime), 
Holland, Germany (near the North Sea and the Baltic), and in 
Scandinavia. In France, and especially in Germany, he enters as a 
secondary element, but still an important one, into the popula- 
tion of the plains. At an altitude above 100 metres, he is 
rarely found." l 

To speak in a more concrete way, his race is known as 
Indo-Germanic, European, Indo-European, Aryan, Kymric 
and Galatic. There are about 30 millions in Europe and 20 

1 Note that the description of Lapouge is based on that of Linnaaus (Systema 
ntturale.). Thus for the European we have albns, sanguineus, torosus, pilis, 
flavescentibui prolitis, levis, argutus, inventor, &c., &c. 


millions in America. The number of half-castes approaching 
the type is equal or somewhat more. 

Leaving on one side the too technical apparatus borrowed 
from zoology, we keep to the most general terms, the most pro- 
nounced characteristics and the most obligatory in order to 
give a clearer idea of the value of this division. 

Let us take the Alpine man. His medium masculine height 
is from I m 60 to I m 65 ; the medium cephalic index of the 
living, 85 to 86, of the bare skull, 84 to 85. Thick-set, brevi- 
linear, brachycephalic, brown or medium colouring of the skin, 
hair, iris and beard. Frugal, industrious, economical, remark- 
ably prudent, he leaves nothing to chance. Rarely a mere 
cipher, he still more rarely attains talent. He is very suspicious, 
but is " easily caught with words" He is the man of tradition 
and of what he calls good sense. He adores uniformity. In 
religion he is willingly Catholic. In politics, he has only one 
hope, the protection of the State, and one tendency, to level 
all who surpass him without ever feeling the need of lifting 
himself. The frontiers of his country are often too broad for 
his sight. He finally succumbs to all the vices of which we 
accuse our middle class. He corresponds with the Celto-Slavs 
and the Turanians. The race of pure Alpines does not exceed 
from 50 to 60 millions. For the most part they appear to us 
under a hybrid form resulting from the cross-breeding between 
the Homo Alpinus and the Homo Europasus. 

Do not let us despair, however. His strong characteristic is 
the widening of the back part of the skull with a more or 
less marked flattening of the same part, which shows itself 
in the third month of his foetal life. A crossing effected with 
an Alpine 'gives a significant and manifest result, viz., the 
shortening of the length of brain and skull and the exaggeration 
of the width. 

To confine oneself to depicting humanity as divided into 
these two capital sections, the Alpine and the European man, 
would be unworthy of any self-respecting anthropologist. M. 
Lapouge, as a savant who understands his duties, insists in 
addition on the contractus man, a small race whose face and 
skull are discordant and whose index of bare skull is only from 
77 to 78. He dates from neolithic times. He preceded the 


Homo Alpinus, to whom indeed he gave birth by mixing with 
the Acrogonus. The Contractus men still exist in Central Italy. 
As for the Acrogonus, he is one of M. Lapouge's exclusive 
creations. He is even strongly convinced that men of this 
type existed in the Quaternary epoch. What are the proofs ? 
How can we doubt their decisive value when M. Lapouge 
affirms that he possesses certain samples with " very marked 
characteristics " ! Their peculiarities are the widening of the 
back part of the skull, the raising of the parietal bumps and 
the almost vertical falling of the sub-obeliac profile. In its 
modified form of Acrogonus cebennicus, this type is frequently 
met with in the Ardeche, le Gard, Lozere and Aveyron. There 
are no less than a million of them ! 

Whatever may be the number of the divisions and the 
subdivisions of the human race, Lapouge says that whoever forms 
part of any one of them is under the influence of the merciless 
law of heredity. " Its extent is as universal and its force as 
irresistible as that of gravity." This heredity operates without 
limit, as is shown by the frequent cases of atavism. In the 
embryogenic evolution of a man, there is only the repetition 
of ancestral evolution as far back as possible. Before assuming 
the human form or that of a mammifer or of a worm, every 
organised being has been a simple bubble with two leaflets or 
rather a simple cell with an imperfect nucleus. 

In arriving at the conclusion of the unity of the world and of 
the intimate relationship between all organic matter, we are 
taught that all the phenomena of heredity which are seen in 
the animal and vegetable worlds are also present in the evolu- 
tion of humanity. 

But how can we measure the respective value of the races 
before us ? 


This depends, before everything else, on what we desire to 
bring to perfection in man, that is to say, his beauty and 
physical vigour, and also his cranial capacity, which to the 
anthropologists is equivalent to his intellectual capacity. In 
using the more or less certain conquests of palaeontology, geology 


and historic anthropology, we see that races whose cephalic 
index is below 70 are always to be found leading humanity, 
and are followed by races whose cephalic index is as much 
as 90 or 95. Now the ideal cephalic index is nearly always 
accompanied with fair hair, great height and other marks of 

Peoples gifted with these ideal qualities have left beneficent 
traces in the history of humanity. They were in the past the 
ancient Greeks and Romans. To-day their mantle has fallen 
on the Anglo-Saxon peoples. 

In general, the upper strata of every nation carry distinctive 
traits of their noble origin, whilst in the lower strata these 
traits are conspicuous by their absence. Between these two 
extremes float the " uncertain " classes who have inherited 
many virtues of the one and retained many vices of the other. 

The philosophy of history, as well as the problem of human 
politics which is so complex, are thus very much simplified. 
All trouble and effort for the perfecting of humanity is reduced 
to this, namely, the increase of the number of superior types 
at the expense of the inferior types. 

But what is really happening ? Let us listen to the complaints 
of this school of anthropologists. 

By a cruel fatality, impure or inferior elements nearly always 
eliminate the pure or superior elements. It is thus that the 
brachycephalic drive away the dolichocephalic, who emigrate 
more and more from Europe and go to the New World. 
The Aryans are giving way to Turanians. In the Old World 
only England remains with the noble type of primitive 

This disappearance of the superior elements owing to emigra- 
tion and exhaustion is the prelude to the great evils which 
are threatening humanity. 1 The decay of Europe is before us, 
an inevitable decay. The future of a people, like that of all 

1 The anthropologists of this school, revelling in pure fantasy, easily subordi- 
nate their scientific conceptions to the interests and passions of the moment. 
The German branch of the school, especially after the victories of 1870, found 
the " noble " type in the Germany of the conquerors. In like manner French 
nationalists, whose scientific partisans are under the influence of Gobineau 
and his followers, regard the future of France with despair ! Its superior 
elements, they tell us, are drowned in the immigration of other non-Aryan 
elements, who are on that account vile and inferior. 


peoples, does it not depend on the quality of those who com- 
prise it ? Nothing is more natural. From the moment 
the moral or intellectual level of a people sinks, from 
the moment when its fate depends on "inferior" ethnical 
elements, its star pales and threatens to go out, For the factor 
of race, so say the prophets of human inequality, exceeds all 
the other factors of evolution. It is true that race also 
involves a host of other elements, such as climate, the historical 
past, and the degree of civilisation. But their influence fades 
in that of the dominant factor of race, just as the wills of 
courtiers vanish in that of their master. Why, for example, 
does not modern Greece resemble ancient Greece? It is, 
they tell us, because the cephalic index of modern Greeks 
has gone from 76 to 81, and so they can no longer pro- 
duce great men ! M. Lapouge, with that assurance which is 
characteristic of this sort of science, adds that if the ancient 
Greeks (with a 76 index !) could suddenly revive, in less 
than a century the Acropolis would once more become the 
centre of civilisation. As the Greeks of Homer, by their 
disappearance, brought about the fall of Greece, so the 
" Aryan " Romans of Livy, with their ideal cephalic index, 
by giving way to the brachycephalic, brought about the ruin of 
the Roman Empire. 

Universal history is thus reduced to the history of the 
variations of cerebral structures. These variations are epoch- 
making. Wherever the dolichocephalic came, there prosperity 
and a great civilisation arose together with the mastery of 
surrounding peoples and even that of the world. When the 
"inferior," the brachycephalic, made an irruption into the 
State, they straightway brought in decadence in all its forms. 

Why did Gaul fall under Roman domination ? It was because 
the Gaulish aristocracy was destroyed by the Romans. In its 
place Gaul was flooded with the brachycephalic. And so it will 
be throughout the centuries. Their incessant invasion will 
degrade the French genius and diminish its superiority. As 
French society becomes physiologically and intellectually 
weaker, power falls into the hands of individuals drawn from 
the people, from quarters which are more and more brachy- 
cephalic. French intelligence declines and the irremediable 


decadence of its nobility brings this unfortunate land to 
servitude and death. 

What will you do with a race whose skull indicates a 
scandalous width ! 

M. de Lapouge paints the future for us m still gloomier 

" I am convinced," he cries, 1 " that in the next century (that 
is to say, the twentieth century !) millions will cut each other's 
throats because of one or two degrees more or less of cephalic 
index. This is the sign which is replacing the Biblical shibboleth 
and linguistic affinities, and by which people will recognise one 
another as belonging to the same nationalities and by which 
the most sentimental will assist at the wholesale slaughter of 

This manifest sign which is to distinguish the slayers from 
the slain makes us ponder ! We know that when we examine 
with the naked eye individuals who submit with all good grace 
to our investigations we are often mistaken by several degrees, 
and when done with the help of the most exact instruments, the 
same thing happens unless we are guided by a sure method 
which has stood the test of time. Again, it is also necessary to 
know whether the dolichocephalic are brown- or fair haired, with 
long or short faces ! But these considerations do not stand in 
the way of the author of L'Aryen. It is there especially that 
M. de Lapouge gives free play to his apprehensions as to the 
future of the Teutons. Frightened before the invasion of the 
brachycephalic, who have supplanted the noble race of narrow 
skulls " as a bad penny drives away a good," he foretells a Cossack 
Europe and the approaching end of brachycephalic peoples like 
France, Poland, Turkey, or Italy. We console ourselves, how- 
ever, with the thought that North America is likewise destined 
to a prompt and doleful end. But this catastrophe, according to 
M. de Lapouge, will be due to the fact that "feminism" rages 
there with fury. In short, we are upon the eve of a universal 

1 L'Anthropologie et la Science politique (Revue d'Anthropologie, 1887). 


With a touching courage and with a simplicity of sentiment 
which disarms us, the French anthropologists of this school lay 
particular stress on the misfortunes which threaten France, whose 
destiny is apparently to become enslaved to other peoples. 

There are only two nations which find grace before the un- 
pi tying severity of these judges. Sometimes it is the English 
and sometimes the Germans. The persuasive warmth with 
which they comment on their origins and their historic evolu- 
tion, and with which they predict a more and more brilliant 
future for them, reminds us very much of the foresight of 
fortune-tellers who are acquainted with their clients' circum- 
stances. All these theories, which arose in the nineteenth cen- 
tury at the time of the greatest expansion of Great Britain and 
Germany, only corroborate the fact of the prosperity of these two 
peoples who had already arrived at the summit of their fortune. 
Thus all the data of English and German prosperity are made 
to enter into the anthropological domain like stones brought to 
the construction of a building. Every historical fact and every 
victory of the English and German peoples serve as material 
for the vast edifice of human inequality. We learn, for example, 
from the studies of Bernard Davis and Kolleston, which are 
founded on skulls discovered in England, that the insular 
neolithic folk were dolichocephalic in the best sense of the word. 
Their cephalic index varied between 70*3 and 72'8. They were 
also fairhaired. The tribes which came to unite themselves with 
this elite of peoples (between 155 and 900 before Christ) were 
likewise of the same noble origin. They were dolicho-blond tribes 
from Gaul. Do you not marvel at this injustice of fate that 
successive invasions have only augmented the proportion of this 
privileged blood ! As waters run to the rivers and the rivers to 
the sea, the children of the dolicho-blond march towards this 
land of promise. They first come with the Romans, then with 
the invasions of the Angles, Danes, Norwegians and Saxons. It 
is true that the Norman Conquest later on introduced a re- 
spectable number of brachycephalic and brownhaired dolicho- 
cephalic, much inferior to the fairhaired variety, but these have 



been gradually eliminated by the superior element, and as the 
fairhaired dolichocephalic get the upper hand, England becomes 
a conqueror and colonises whole worlds. In the interior of the 
land, especially where the brownhaired dolichocephalic domi- 
nate, we perceive poverty and intellectual arrest among the 
inhabitants. A danger, however, threatens this terrestrial 
paradise, namely, emigration, which takes away the fairhaired 
dolichocephalic in particular. As their number diminishes, 
the proportion becomes very favourable to the accursed brachy- 
cephalic and the brownhaired dolichocephalic. If these last 
ever get the upper hand, abrupt will be the ruin of Great 
Britain ! 

This impartial summary of the cerebral inequality of human 
beings reduces itself to this, that there is a chosen people 
or rather a chosen race, namely, the Aryans. They comprise 
all the good human qualities both moral and physical. The 
greatness of a people is directly dependent on the number of 
these exceptional mortals who are found within its frontiers. 

The problem of national politics which is to be solved 
consists quite simply in the augmentation of the beneficent 
type and in the elimination of the " regressive " and noxious 
type. A well-organised State ought even to place a premium 
on the fairhaired dolichocephalic, and give special encourage- 
ment to their reproduction. In applying the well-understood 
principle of zootechny, it would not even hesitate to make 
use of certain ingenious methods intended to facilitate social 

M. Lapouge l thus advises Aryans, or, as he calls them, 
" Eugenics," to arrange themselves for the defence of their 
race. Elsewhere 2 he gives them lessons on rigorous selection for 
the purpose of obtaining in a limited time individuals answering 
to the anthropological ideal. He even goes to the extent of 
zootechnic and scientific reproduction. A small number of 
male reproducers of the e"lite type is to be chosen, and their 
spermatozoids used for artificial generation in superior women 
deserving of this honour. 

With his rigorous and scientific precision, the author estimates 

1 Htrtditt dans la Science politique (Revue d'Anthrop., 1888). 
* Selection* tocialet. 


that by his system a male reproducer will assure %00,000 
births. 1 

With a thousand of these privileged males, there would be 
enough to reform a whole country after two generations ! 

It goes without saying that to preserve this precious blood 
and together with it the so dearly acquired cephalic index of 
the fairhaired, we must not shrink from the establishment of 
" specialised " and " separated " classes. By following the 
example of the Jews, who only marry among themselves, the 
ideal of the procreation of " eugenics " could be easily realised. 
Even the assistance of legislation could be avoided. In any 
case this last must not interfere with the regeneration under- 
taken by the fine " eugenic " flower of the people ! 

In their ardent desire to find a new method of salvation, the 
anthropo-sociologists of the school of Gobineau have completely 
forgotten that it already exists and has exhibited results for 
centuries. Has not India realised from time immemorial the 
boldest conceptions of the reformers of modern races ? It is 
there that a large field of experimentation has been established, 
the results of which dispense European peoples from an imita- 
tion, which at least would be superfluous. 

The Indian castes have in their cruel exclusiveness nothing 
analogous on the earth. The Sudras, who are at the bottom of 
the human scale, have been treated from time immemorial as 
the brachycephalic could never be treated in Europe. Marriage 
with Sudras was strictly prohibited, and even simple contact 
with these unfortunates was considered a mortal sin. They 
were strictly forbidden to read the sacred books, and those who 
were unfortunate enough to go near them were strictly to avoid 
even their noxious breath. Ratzel 2 even tells us that certain of 
these castes were objects of greater contempt than animals. 
The Pulayas of Travancore were not allowed to look at the 
Brahmans from a distance less than 96 feet. When employed 
at public works, they were obliged to wear visible signs of their 
caste in order to be recognised at a distance, and so to prevent 
men of noble extraction from coming too dangerously near. In 

1 According toLapouge the sperm may be diluted with impunity in certain 
alkaline liquids. The solution of a thousandth part in a proper vehicle is 
efficacious in a dose of two cubic centimetres injected into the uterus. 

8 Volkcrkunde, II. 

c 2 


crossing the highroads, the Pulayas were compelled to hide 
themselves at the approach of travellers of another caste. This 
sentiment of inequality has so profoundly influenced the Indian 
conscience that it has been frequently observed that men have 
died of hunger rather than touch food which had been con- 
taminated by the touch of Pulayas. As time went on, the 
sentiment of exclusion grew, and the original castes multi- 
plied themselves into numerous sub-castes, whose intercom- 
munication presented insurmountable difficulties. The Ksliatriya 
(the old warrior caste) has been divided into 590 sections, which 
are in a state of mutual strife owing to questions of precedence 
and superiority. The sub-castes of Brahmans amount to a 
fabulous number, and between these, proud and haughty, in 
Benares, and the outcasts of Orissa who walk about almost 
naked, there is a great gulf fixed. 

What then has been the result of this " ideal " separation 
of the population, of this unrestricted worship of the blood 
of ancestors and of the excessive purity of race and of 
races ? 

The vast country of India has been from all time the prey of 
those who would take possession of it. From the days of Alex- 
ander, who humiliated and conquered it, its masters have only 
changed names. The Scythians (1st cent.), the Arabs (7th 
cent.), the Afghans (12th cent.), the Mongols (14th cent.), then 
the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch, who gave way to the 
French, who themselves were supplanted by the English, here 
we have the series of conquests inflicted on hundreds of millions 
of people by invaders whose number was often only one in a 
thousand to that of the inhabitants. 

Impotent with regard to enemies from outside, India was 
conspicuous for a kind of intellectual stagnation. It was 
indeed a land of misfortune and death. The hope of India 
is precisely in the introduction of modern ideas, which contribute 
towards breaking up its aristocratic organisation of castes 
and making the principles of fraternity and human equality 

History is rich in examples which prove that all these 
divisions among inhabitants are always accompanied by a weak- 
ening of the sense of solidarity and the absence of all patriotism. 


It would undoubtedly be the same in Europe if the ideas on the 
fatalities involved in anthropological origin and origins were 
ever to triumph. 


Nevertheless, in spite of the readiness with which all propaganda 
of hatred is received, this organic inequality between peoples in- 
heriting the same civilisation must sooner or later be broken 
against an insurmountable obstacle. 

Inasmuch as the fairhaired people with narrow skulls, that is, 
the dolichocephalic, only number about 50 millions out of the 
400 millions who at present occupy Europe, how will they suc- 
ceed in becoming masters ? 

What is to be done with those particular brachycephalic 
and brownhaired dolichocephalic who are determined not to 
disappear ? 

What is to be done with their progeny ? In their burning 
desire to save the future of humanity, the priests of this new 
cult go so far as absolutely to forbid the majority of men and 
women from getting children. The most lenient among them 
are content to allow abortion and infanticide, if not to impose it- 
Here their courage fails them. Where, however, the French 
anthropologists fear to tread, those of Germany step forward 
with frenzied zeal. Savants like Ammon advise that the same 
methods which European civilisers use in the case of negroes 
and savage tribes should be used in the case of those whom 
they consider " degraded " in the matter of race. Let them be 
soaked with spirits supplied gratis, let them be attracted to 
places where debauchery is rampant, let them even be led to 
contract all kinds of diseases ; and so exhausted, depraved and 
enfeebled they will finally disappear from the earth. 

Certain anthropologists, however, allow themselves to fall 
into despair. M. B. Collignon, 1 for example, although quite 
convinced that the law of Ammon is equally applicable to 
France, threatens us, however, with the certainty of brachy- 
cephalic success. It is quite true, he says, that the struggle of 
classes in modern society is only the struggle between races of 
1 Mem. de la Soc. <TAnthrop. t Vol. L, 1893. 


narrow and round skulls, that is, between the dolichocephalic 
and the brachycephalic. On the one side we have the people 
with narrow skulls who are comparatively only new-comers on 
French soil, a race of innovating mind, adventurous, and in 
another way as active in these times as were their far-back ances- 
tors in the period of the barbaric migrations. On the other side 
we have their predecessors, viz., the brachycephalic, more peace- 
ful and attached to the soil by fate, being only agriculturists. 
They represent in our collectivity the economic, reflecting and 
conservative mind ! How then are we to reconcile these ex- 
tremes? A fatal struggle must arise between them, incited by 
their contrary origins and aspirations. The final triumph m 
the course of centuries or of millions of years will certainly in 
France belong to the brachycephalic. Nevertheless these must 
not rest too much on their laurels ! 

This pessimistic fatalism contains some consolation. Inas- 
much as we know beforehand the inevitable final result, it 
becomes useless to excite ourselves against these poor brachy- 
cephals. But all the doctrinaires of this school do not find 
resignation so easy ! Nott and Gliddon, 1 struck by the hateful 
role which the brownhaired and the roundskulled play in social 
evolution, express this retrospective regret, that if Napoleon 
had beheaded all the demagogues who were not fairhaired, the 
French government would have achieved the same solidity as 
that of Germany and England ! " Death to the brownhaired ! " 
is the cry of these two American sociologists, for life is only 
possible for them under military governments. When the yoke 
of this form of servitude is removed from their shoulders, they 
become discontented and start revolutions. 

These "lovers of the incredible," to use an expression of 
Tacitus, are thus not deficient in matter for their priesthood. 
They remind us somewhat of that Roman emperor who, having 
received the gift of an unusual kind of doll, fell madly in love 
with it, proclaimed it a supreme divinity and honoured it with 
numerous sacrifices. 

Human inequality, having in this fashion become the object 
of a veritable cult, is glorified in all its forms. Every pretext 
1 Types of Mankind. 


is acceptable to these priests of misfortune, anxious to chant 
the glory of their sombre deity. Narrow skull or round skull, 
brown hair or fair hair, prognathism, long hands or short, the 
form of the nose or the eye, are all so many opportunities for 
proclaiming the providential divisions among human beings 
and the necessity, if not the benefit, of their inevitable hatreds. 

Having come back to the level of beasts, man seems to 
have had a giddy fall. He is treated as a simple animal or 
plant, as though his brain and conscience and centuries of 
intellectual evolution had never existed for him. The history 
of to-day as that of to-morrow assumes the aspect of those tragic 
thermal baths where the best among mortals die or will die. 
If these philosophers of inevitable inequality are to be taken 
at their word, the world is on the highroad to ruin, unless 
perchance it is saved by chaos. Whilst to some of them, the 
angels (i.e. narrow skulls) are disappearing and the mon- 
strosities (i.e. round skulls) are pouring in, to others un- 
certainty lowers over us in the form of unceasing strife. The 
inferior races, hurling themselves against the superior, will 
succeed perhaps in exterminating them or perhaps, again, they 
themselves will be overwhelmed. But in any case a dark cloud 
of peril awaits us. Yellows, Blacks, Jews, Anglo-Saxons, Pan- 
Germanics, Pan-Slavs, &c., surge from all sides, all redolent of 
quarrels, hatreds and wars. Moreover the height of misfortune 
is this, that when two races are in competition, it is the inferior 
which triumphs (Lapouge). 

Notice that everything is banded against the success of the 
superiors. The advent of democracy with its ideals of liberty 
and equality is only one of the many great calamities in store 
for the peoples. What are these democrats if not brachycephalic 
and brownhaired, in fact barbarians, who do not grasp the beauty 
of an " eugenic " regime, that is to say, the rule of the fairhaired 
elite ? Democracy tends towards the exclusion of the latter, and 
in every case to reduce them to its own level. The anthropo- 
sociologists tell us that the barbarians are no longer relegated to 
other quarters of the globe. They live near us, or rather above 
and below us, in the basement and in the garret. The poor 
world is thus menaced from above and below. 


What an agreeable prospect for the humanity of to-morrow ! 

In the face of all this, what becomes of the dignity of man, 
the needs of the spiritual life and the victories of science ? We 
leave for the moment these abstract considerations, and turn 
towards the science which is responsible for having bred all 
these doctrines which darken the modern conscience. 



WHEN we examine the conditions which accompany the 
birth of new races in the vegetable and animal world, we easily 
see how great is the gulf which separates them from human 
races. Neither the origins of the differentiation of humanity nor 
the striking peculiarities of its subdivisions, nor their successive 
evolution, nor the transplantation of different races and their 
return to the place from which they started, nor the factors which 
cause external changes in men, are identical in the three kingdoms. 

There is an element which above everything else rules in 
humanity, viz., the moral element. Considered as mentality, 
conscience or soul, it exercises a decisive influence on the 
formation of human divisions and gives them special marks by 
which they may be distinguished. As the moral reacts on the 
physical, in a manner as powerful as it is incontestable, humanity 
evolves under the decisive influence of a factor which belongs to 
it alone, and which for this reason does not allow the same laws 
to be applied strictly to it which hold good in the two other 

This moral element supplies man with a formidable weapon 
in the struggle for life. Far from being a passive product of 
external circumstances, man often creates them, especially for 
his own profit. This privilege which all men hold in common, 
however dispersed over the world, not only provides them with 
a characteristic of abstract identity but also prevents the differ- 
ences produced by the influence of the varying milieux from 


creating fissures which would destroy the unity of the human 

What is still more significant is that in the long evolution of 
humanity we nowhere meet with those strange phenomena 
which have given rise to the theories concerning the mutation 
of species, or, still better, the "explosive transformation" of 
Standfuss or the "spasmodic progress" of de Vries. 

To understand the essential differences which separate animal 
races, it would be well to study the origin and evolution of 
species according to the new theories which have modified that 
of Darwin. It is all the more necessary to examine this side of 
the question, because all modern partisans of human inequality 
draw their arguments from the doctrines of Lamarck and 
Darwin. Hypnotised by the gigantic and constructive work 
of the Darwinian school, they have failed to consider its incom- 
plete or problematic sides. In translating into the vital domain 
of humanity its teachings and conclusions they have applied 
without mercy all the deductions made by Darwin in what con- 
cerns animals and plants. But, as we shall see, the principal 
theory having received some mortal blows, the anthropological 
generalisations which are mainly due to the help of the shattered 
doctrine, are thus threatened with ruin. 

Let us state, however, that the principle of evolution or of 
transformation has escaped almost unscathed from all the battles 
which have surged round Darwinian science. Discovered in the 
first place by Lamarck and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire it is to-day 
universally accepted. 

It is Lamarck who first maintained in a scientific l manner the 
descent of species. 2 A great number of savants sided with 
Lamarck, but it is Darwin's glory to have demonstrated the truth 
of transformation and to have imposed it on the learned 

Without regarding it as a fixed mathematical law, modern 

1 Philosophic zoologique, 1801. 

a Darwin points out in his historic notice which prefaces the Origin of 
Species, that Dr. Erasmus Darwin, his grandfather, had in his Zoonomy (1794) 
anticipated Lamarck in this matter. Goethe and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 
maintained the same ideas about the same time. But all these precursors had 
rather the presentiment of this truth without being able to demonstrate it 
scientifically. They played the same part with regard to the theory of 
Evolution as Raspail with regard to the science of Pasteur. 


science accepts it in the main as an inevitable hypothesis to 
explain the essence of the evolution of species. 

But while admitting this fundamental position until the con- 
trary were proved, naturalists were unable to agree on the why 
and wherefore of transformation. The great originality of the 
Darwinian theory was to have found the key to it in natural 

Selection and heredity fix the characteristics acquired by a 
living being in the course of its existence. These are the two 
levers of this theory, which has revolutionised the natural 
sciences as well as sociology during the last half century. 

But owing to the methodical observations made since the 
appearance of Darwin's Origin of Species, his theory was first 
contested and then entirely rejected. 

To explain the changes wrought in this sphere, let us take 
the classical example of the giraffe and let us see how the 
Darwinian school and its successors explain the appearance of 
its long neck and the length of its front legs. 


We know Lamarck's theory. The chief cause of modifica- 
tions is the use or non-use of organs. 

The heredity of results occurring under these conditions, 
that is to say, the heredity of characteristics thus acquired or 
lost, completes the work of transformation. The giraffe, living 
in places which were not fertile, only found its pasture on trees. 
It was therefore obliged to stretch its neck in order to browse 
the leaves. Its neck, owing to this habit, became considerably 
longer, and its forelegs became longer than the hind ones. 

Darwin introduced as a corollary the selection of favourable 
variations. Giraffes, which thus succeeded in lengthening their 
necks, were the only ones which survived in time of famine. 
In mixing they gave birth to this new species which is quite dis- 
tinct from the other types of hoofed animals. Therefore, 
according to this school, to obtain a new species, we must first 
admit (a) the appearance of a new quality ; (5) the heredity of 
this quality ; and then we must be convinced that nature, like 
a good breeder, anxious that this quality should not disappear, 


presides at the pairings which are directed to perpetuate the 
new variation ! What perplexes us most is the infinite number 
of these pairings which is necessary to fix the new variation. 
Since it is a matter of variations which are trifling and almost 
impossible to grasp, and which can only produce results 
naturally going from good to better in the course of centuries, 
we must admit a conscious force which is constantly preoccupied 
with the realisation of its ideal, and which is jealously watching 
its forward march. 

How many thousands of centuries does it not take to explain 
the presence of a variation in any animal or plant whatsoever ! 
We are reminded of Lord Kelvin's exclamation of complaint that 
the Darwinian theory multiplies to excess the age of the globe 
which is already so old ! Yet geology by no means grudges time 
to the existence of the globe. This author declares that the con- 
solidation of the crust of the earth took from ninety-eight to two 
hundred million years. According to M. Croll, sixty millions of 
years have passed since the deposit of Cambrian formations. 
This generosity of geologists, however, is insufficient to honour the 
cheques whose payment is demanded by the Darwinian theory! 

But the representatives of the neo-Darwinian school (Wallace, 
Weismann, Galton, Pfliiger, Strasburger, Koelliker, etc.), in 
examining this phenomenon closer, have found that the explana- 
tion, however attractive it may appear, does not correspond 
with facts. They question with reason not only the length of 
the giraffe's neck obtained as the result of efforts made to reach 
the leaves of high trees, but also the heredity of the long neck 
acquired under these conditions. This hypothesis having been 
upset, men have tried to construct on its ruins another explana- 
tion no less improbable, but still more complicated. A few 
years have been enough to give a finishing-stroke to 
Weismannism and to its transformist metaphysics. Owing 
to the works of Hugo de Vries, the celebrated Dutch botanist, 
a new theory has triumphed, which at the present time has 
almost all the suffrages of the naturalists. 



We have seen above that since the Darwinian theory finds 
it impossible to give us convincing proofs of the two principal 
bases of its hypothesis, serious doubts have been entertained as 
to its truth. It not only fails to prove that in stretching its 
neck the giraffe has added to its length (acquired characteristic), 
but it cannot prove that the giraffe, after acquiring this 
neck, transmits it to its descendants (heredity of acquired 

But how can we explain the appearance of so strange a 
species of hoofed animals ? Sudden variations is the explana- 
tion called in, or, as M. de Vries has it, spasmodic progress. (See 
on this subject the works of Huxley, Mivart, Bateson, Clos, 
and, lastly, the Theory of Mutation by M. de Vries). All these 
savants admit with Agassiz the spontaneous appearance of 
species at a given time under the influence of certain special 
conditions. It is thus, for example, that a mixed animal world 
appears suddenly in the time of the first fossiliferous strata. 
These sudden variations, which have played so considerable a role 
in the formation of the fauna and flora of all epochs, have not 
disappeared in our days. Numerous examples of the explosive 
birth of variations will be found in Cue*not, Bateson and 
de Vries. Among the Echinoderms, the species of Ophiures, 
with six, seven, or eight arms, and the tetramerous and trimerous 
Crinoideans and the Asterias with numerous arms, reproduce 
exactly the sudden variations which appear from time to time 
in the normal pentamerous species (L. Cue*not). In the 
secondary epoch the sudden appearances are seen both of 
gigantic Dinosaurian lizards like the Brontosaur, which are as 
large as four or five elephants united, and also of quite little 
ones resembling small birds. 

The first placental mammifers appear at the commencement of 
the tertiary period in a spontaneous fashion, and after giving rise 
to a variety of forms nearly as rich as those of the mammifers of 
to-day, they disappear altogether. 

To explain the appearance and disappearance of all these species 
by way of Darwinian selection it would be necessary to extend 
the duration of our planet by several millions of centuries. 


Darwin himself saw this lacuna in his theory. He asks 
himself why it is that each geological formation, in each of the 
strata which compose it, does not overflow with intermediary 
forms. He is reassured with the thought of the extreme 
insufficiency of geological documents. 1 

He admits before everything else, with Sir Charles Lyell, an 
interminable duration of time which must characterise the 
existence of our globe. In order to admit it, he takes his stand 
on the immense volume of rocks which have been raised over 
vast extents. He is also consoled by thinking of the thickness 
of sedimentary formations. These attain, for instance, in certain 
parts of Great Britain, according to the calculations of Professor 
Ramsay, as much as 72,584 feet. 1 When we consider that 
between the successive formations extremely long periods have 
elapsed, during which no deposit has been formed, fantastical 
estimates of the time which our planet must have lasted are 
arrived at. It touches close upon eternity, so Darwin tells us. 

But geology and palaeontology have little information to 
give us on the subject. There is nothing astonishing in this. 
Organisms which are entirely soft do not remain in a good state 
of preservation; shells and bones lying at the bottom of the 
water are swept away in time. Science can therefore only show 
us forms and species which are incongruous. The science of 
geology presents gaps which may perhaps be filled as time goes 
on. But at present it leaves us more ignorant than it 
instructs. Moreover the facts which it offers are often vague 
and uncertain. According to Lyell's comparison, the geological 
archives furnish us with a history of the globe incompletely 
preserved, written in an ever-changing dialect, and of which we 
possess only the last volume, treating of two or three countries 
alone. Some fragments or chapters of this volume, and certain 
scattered lines on each page, are all which have come down to us. 

Whereas some seek the first traces of organic life in the 
oldest Silurian beds, others seek to throw back their appearance 
by many millions of years. New strata are constantly being 
discovered, the number of formations augmented and at the 

1 Originc dt* Esplces, Chap. X. 

a Paleozoic strata, 37,145; secondary strata, 13,190; tertiary strata, 
2,340, etc. 


same time the first appearance of organic life is being thrown 
back. Darwin therefore finds a basis for his theory in the 
fact that if given positive, palseontological proofs, negative 
proofs have no value whatever. But if we cannot conjecture 
the future from the past, yet the past still authorises us to 
come to conclusions with regard to the present. It is possible, 
therefore, that palaeontology will some day justify Darwin by 
supplying his theory with numerous intermediary varieties, this 
essential basis of his edifice ; but for the time being these are 
altogether lacking, and therefore it is difficult to espouse his 

An aggravating circumstance is that the most authoritative 
representatives of geology and palaeontology, these two sciences 
to which Darwin makes constant appeals, declare themselves 
openly against this theory. The same applies to his forerunners 
and also to his contemporaries, Cuvier, Agassiz, Murchison, 
Falconer and Sedgwick. 


M. de Vries advances a more plausible theory that of the 
sudden and clearly defined transformation of species. With 
him it takes the form of "mutation of species," instead of 
" individual variations " as with Darwin. The species appears, 
and exists a certain time. Subject to specific change, it gives 
rise to a new species which shows itself suddenly under the 
action of determined causes of which the reason escapes us. 
The primitive species from which it comes lives for some time 
near that to which it gave birth and then disappears. But the 
variety so created is so different from the mother-species, 
that their crossing remains sterile if not impossible. The 
celebrated botanist goes on to give a number of remarkable 
experiments which enabled him to justify his theory. He was 
particularly successful in proving it by means of the evening 
primrose (onagre biennal). This plant, brought to Europe about 
the beginning of the seventeenth century, is very widely spread 
in Holland. It was reported in 1875 that near the little 
town of Hilversum this plant displayed an exceptional vigour 
and a readiness to multiply itself beyond measure. De Vries 


concluded that the species must be passing through the period of 
its spasmodic mutation. After having isolated this plant in the 
Botanic Gardens at Amsterdam, he placed it under very strict 
observation during fourteen years, from 1886 to 1900, and towards 
the end of this year he found that out of 50,000 plants, 800 new 
ones had appeared belonging to seven new and unknown species. 
These species were perfectly distinct from the mother-species. 

But more than this. There is no doubt that if new species 
are left near the mother-species, they will be brought back, bit 
by bit, to a medium type, if not to the old one. 

In order that a new species may take a definite form and 
survive, it is necessary to isolate it. It is only then that its 
forms become fixed, and when fixed give rise to a new morpho- 
logical species. L. Cue'not, who insists on this necessity, points 
out several kinds of causes which would thus save the new 
species. There is first the geographical isolation which erects 
impassable barriers between the mother-species and the new 
species, and thus prevents all crossing. But this isolation may also 
be produced by physiological causes, of an anatomical order (as 
in the case of the dog, the jackal, and the wolf), where differences 
such as that of height make it impossible to couple two 
animals like the Newfoundland and the pug-dog; and again, 
sexual incompatibility which produces very feeble fecundity, if 
not absolute sterility in cross-breeding. For many species 
which only present the most minute physiological differences 
become sterile once they have crossed, as in certain species of 
coleoptera, and of wasps, &c., &c. 

This same phenomenon is frequently observed among plants. 

De Tries' theory has, however, every chance of being victorious 
in modern science. Simultaneous or later observations made 
in other countries only confirm it. 

M. Armand Gautier's discoveries are to be noticed in par- 
ticular. 1 

In speaking of the analysis of the pigment of red wines and of 
their numerous varieties, he comes to striking conclusions on 
the origin of species and of races. He also brings forward this 

1 M6can\sme de la variation des Stres vivanls, in 1886, as also his remarkable 
memoir on the Mdcanismes moltculaires dt la variation de races et de especes, 
published towards the end of 1901. 


curious phenomenon, that great variations giving rise to the 
appearance of species and races do not proceed from con- 
tinuous and insensible changes, but from vast modifications 
which appear immediately and without transition. Thus the 
ordinary Aralia with seven-lobed leaves suddenly produces 
branches with simple leaves which may be multiplied without 
slips. On a bi-coloured lilac with violet-blue flowers there 
suddenly appeared (in 1901) a single branch of flowers of lilac 
sagelike red or purple (observation made by L. Henry). 

In the world of insects M. Gerard observed the same 
phenomena. Numerous variations of wings have suddenly 
appeared. Communicated by way of heredity they have 
caused the birth of new races. Examples of this kind abound 
in the animal world. 

The school of Darwin explains this phenomenon as a kind of 
atavism, that is, a return to the primitive type, due to a tardy 
aptitude to revert. We know how this word, often void of 
meaning, always very mysterious and whose virtue consists in 
explaining the unknown by the unknown, has been abused. 
What is this inexplicable force which, dormant for centuries, 
like the Sleeping Beauty in the wood, suddenly wakes up, to drop 
again into an indefinite sleep ? For, on the one hand, there 
is no regression, since these freaks in evolution give birth to 
new species and races. Whilst, on the other hand, the re- 
searches made by A. F. Ledouble, S. Pozzi, E. Rabaud, &c., on 
anomalies and freaks have demonstrated before everything else 
that in the number of anomalies there is a large quantity which 
lies completely outside the atavic theory. Those which remain 
are reduced to the new adaptation by the aid of a new charac- 
teristic, the resemblance of which to the atavic trait is only 
superficial. In other cases there is only a relationship, a con- 
tinuation of characteristic traits which have never ceased to 
belong to the given species. 1 

1 See, for example, the curious experiments of Tarnier, who produced poly- 
dactyly (supernumerary fingers) by simply exciting the tissues. Also of 
M. Boinet, who explains, with the aid of radiography, that no connection 
exists between any bone whatsoever of the wrist and the supernumerary 
finger ; of Rabaud, in microcephaly, such as the arrest of the brain's 
growth, &c., &c. 



So-called anomalies of reversion are, in short, only new 
organs created on the ruin of old ones. To say that their 
cause is atavism is to invoke nothing. The appearance of 
ancestral characteristics in domestic animals which have 
returned to wild life, a fact which plays a part in Darwinian 
atavism, is easily explained by the influence of changed 
circumstances. In tearing the animal from the influence 
of its proper milieu, we have reduced it to the influence of 
other conditions. When once these conditions cease to act 
the animal takes back its own characteristics. It is useless to 
invoke a mysterious force as long as we can rest on such an 
evident and plausible cause. The same applies to the domestic 
plants. As long as we specially manure the ground which 
nourishes their roots, as long as we take these roots out and 
protect them from the extremes of heat and cold, as long as we 
clear away the other vegetation which dispute the ground with 
them, and even remove noxious insects, they develop in a 
certain way. When this protection is withdrawn and the plant 
is abandoned to itself, there is no wonder that it should return, 
for this very reason, to its old ways. 

Let us add, however, that the theory of evolution has nothing 
to lose by the disappearance of this cumbersome factor, atavism. 

In the march of progress, atavism, acting as a stumbling- 
block, constituted, if not a menace of death, at least a kind of 
general paralysis. This sudden reversion bore traits of weak- 
ness, for by it progress involved a retrograde action contrary 
to its essence, which is to march forwards. Freed of this im- 
pediment, the law of progress becomes a true law of nature, 
astonishing in its simplicity and clearness. 



BEFORE drawing any conclusions from the present hypothesis 
of the origin of species, let us see how they as well as varieties 
and races originate. What is the manner of their creation, and 
what are the essential differences which separate them? In 
the first place, what is species ? A mass of specific character- 
istics which are transmitted from generation to generation by 
heredity. When among individuals of the same species certain 
differences are established, they give rise to varieties or races. 
These differences are concerned in the first place with charac- 
teristics of a second order, and are distinguished subsequently 
by their lack of fixity. These fleeting characteristics can thus 
disappear and the individuals who are deprived of them return 
to the primitive type of the species. 

The causes of variability are many. The first place must be 
given to the direct action of the climate, which involves that 
of nourishment and mode of life. According to Darwin, the 
principle of selection plays a prominent part, as we have seen. 
It is nature which is operating on a large scale, continuously, 
and for long lapses of time. Man also tries to do the same 
thing on a small scale in imitating the work of nature. Darwin, 
applying the theory of Malthus, affirms that means of sub- 
sistence increase in arithmetical progression, whereas living 
beings multiply themselves in geometrical progression. This 
multiplication would be so rapid that no country, not even the 
surface of sea and land combined, could contain all the beings 

D 2 


born from a single pair after a certain number of generations. 
There is thus a perpetual struggle for room, a struggle for life. 
The fittest prove victorious, and certain of their advantageous 
qualities becoming hereditary give rise by natural selection to the 
origin of varieties and species. 

This hypothesis of selection and of the heredity of acquired 
characteristics is, as we have seen, much battered by the 
science of our day. Its place has just been taken by that of 
sudden or spontaneous variations. These appear under the in- 
fluence of causes whose essence escapes us. 

New races in the domestic state are obtainable either by 
coupling two distinct varieties (mttissage) or two species more 
or less related (hybridation). The results of coupling depend 
greatly on the conformation of the sexual organs of the respective 
individuals. Moreover, it is this which constitutes the funda- 
mental difference between the species and the variety or race. 

Most naturalists go so far as to consider a distinction between 
varieties as a distinction of species from the moment when 
the coupling remains systematically sterile. We are ignorant 
of the cause of this sterility. We only know that certain 
changes happening in the life of animals or plants affect in a 
certain way the reproductive system and produce sterility. 

According to Darwin, fecundity not constituting a special 
distinction between species and varieties, it is necessary to 
admit a general identity between the progeny of the two 
species crossed and that of the two varieties. 1 He tells 
us that mongrels and hybrids resemble each other in a 
striking way, not only because of their variability and 
their property of absorbing each other mutually by repeated 
crossings, but also by their aptitude to inherit the two parent 
forms. Starting from there, Darwin states the importance of 
this somewhat fictitious division, for the species of to-day are 
only the varieties of yesterday. 

But let -us put aside this academic discussion on the subject of 
the origin of species or races, and let us rather see what internal 
changes have accompanied the appearance of a new race or 
species. In this domain, as in many others of the theory 
of transformation, we have succeeded in digging the soil, 

1 Oriijine de Espicet, ffybridet et Mitit. 


and getting nearer to truth. Whereas Darwin was occupied 
in particular with the changes of external forms and confined 
himself to simple morphology, we now know, thanks to the ex- 
periments made by many French and foreign savants, the 
profound and internal revolution of the organism which ordin- 
arily accompanies external variations. It will be sufficient to 
grasp the significance of these phenomena and to compare them 
afterwards with those which are seen in the racial modifications 
among men for us to gain a singularly powerful argument in 
favour of the equality of human beings. 

Holding faithfully to our method, we confine ourselves for the 
time being to setting forth the present state of the question, 
reserving the right of applying these acquired truths after- 


It was while making his ingenious researches on the colouring 
matter of wines, on the alkaloids of tobaccos, and on the 
diverse animal albumens, etc., that M. Armand Gautier, the 
learned author of Mecanisme de la variation des tires vivants, 1 
arrived at his luminous conclusions. According to him, every 
time there is variation and production of a new race, not only 
do the external, anatomical and histological characteristics of 
the new being vary, but even the structure and composition itself 
of its plasmas, or at least the immediate products of their 

This change takes place both in the reproductive cells 
and in the vegetative cells (somatic). In short, a new race 
means a profound variation of plasmas. 

We know, moreover, the striking analogy between vegetable 
races and those of the animal world. The origin of species 
and variations appears in the two worlds under analogous 
conditions. The analysis made with regard to modifications 
undergone by plants gives consequently the right of drawing 
conclusions as to those which animal variations and species must 
undergo. Studies made concerning plants, which are easier 

1 See especially his Memoire, read Nov. 16, 1901, at the Congret inter- 
national de ^hybridation de la vigne, held at Lyons. 


from the point of view of experiments, are striking with regard 
to their final exactness. 

But in comparing the different varieties of cultivated vines 
M. Armand Gautier has established 1 that each variation of 
vine stock possesses specific colouring matter, proper to itself, 
which can be distinguished at the same time by its chemical 
characteristics and by its centesimal composition. Their 
differences do not stop there, for the internal changes which 
accompany the appearance of new races of vines are most 
numerous. If the colouring matter of different vine stocks is 
examined, certain of them will be found soluble in pure water 
(le Petit Bouschet), whereas others remain insoluble. Some 
become, after their preparation, insoluble in alcohol (Carignan), 
whilst others precipitate acetate of lead into blue indigo 
(Teinturier or Carignan), others into dark green (Aramon). 

Similar phenomena are found in examining other plants. 
Let us take, for instance, different kinds of pines and we shall 
see here also the essential internal modifications which divide 
them. Thus the Maritime pine of the Landes gives a resin 
which throws to the left the line of polarised light, whilst that 
of the Australian pine throws it to the right. The different 
kinds of acacias produce special gums, as other trees of other 
varieties give different tannins. According to the observations 
made by M. Charabot and M. Ebray, the variety of peppermint 
known as basilic produces a dextrogyrate essence of which the 
smell is quite different from that of the levogyrate essence of 
ordinary mint. Thus the examples furnished by the comparison 
of colouring matter and gums might be multiplied to infinitude. 
These principles characterise species and varieties. What do 
these essential differences which separate them signify ? It is 
that the cellular plasmas from which all these principles have 
issued have equally undergone profound variations. The 
modification of cellular plasmas occasions in its turn the 
modification of the cells which are derived from them. 

1 Here, for example, are the colouring matters of different vine stocks : 





Petit Bouschet 

Camay C^JW", ftc. 



Let us make an incursion into the animal world, and we shall 
see an analogous change in the composition of their plasma 
varying according to species and race. The comparative analysis 
of their albuminoid matters brings out this startling truth, that 
species or race signifies here also change of plasma in the same 
way as vines change their colouring matter. It is thus that the 
albumens of the horse and of the mule vary in the same way as 
do those of monkey and man. 

The recent studies on antitoxins and anticorps have also 
confirmed and extended this theory. The haemoglobin of the 
blood in passing from one animal to another differs every time, 
as is demonstrated by its crystalline forms, its secondary 
properties and the hematines which are derived from it (P. 
Cazeneuve quoted by A. Gautier). 

What does this signify, if not that the variations which 
characterise the appearance of species or of race are very 
profound ? In acting on the albuminous plasma, the serum of 
the blood in animals or tannins, the colouring matters or 
catechines of plants, they succeed in making an impression on 
the whole being. All the constituent molecules of the individual 
are attacked by them. In one word, it is not a matter of an 
external change, but of a profound revolution undergone by the 
whole being. 

If we pass to the supposed races of men, we shall see that 
this essential condition of the formation of varieties is completely 
lacking. The anthropologists have not succeeded in finding the 
essential variations in the composition of the blood between 
men of yellow, black and white colour, of broad and narrow 
skull, of the smallest cranial capacity and those of the most 
astonishing greatness ! 

What is no less conclusive is that the part which the 
composition of blood plays in demonstrating the difference 
between race and species is known. It is only the blood of 
beings belonging to the same variety and to the same race which 
may be injected into them with impunity. Thus the blood of 
a hare may be injected into the organism of a rabbit, or that of 



a mouse into that of a rat, but the blood of man may not be 
injected into the organism of a dog, ahorse, or any other animal 
whatsoever. Neither can the blood of an animal be injected 
into the veins of a man. In all these cases the foreign blood, 
not being able to unite, will be destroyed, or will destroy the 
organism which has received the injection. On the other hand, 
the blood of a white man or a negro may be injected into the 
organism of a yellow man, or that of a negro into the blood of 
white or yellow. It goes without saying that the form of 
the skull, as well as the other grounds on which the anthropo- 
logical divisions of human beings rest, plays as negative apart as 
the colour of their skin. 


IN the desire to apply to man the ideas derived from the 
modifications undergone by plants and animals, inevitable errors 
are readily made. Analogy does not constitute identity. The 
anthropologists have pursued a wrong course in identifying 
human variations, which are all superficial, with those radical 
and intrinsic ones which appear as the result of evolution or 
spasmodic progress. For reasons which it will be necessary to 
consider again, man shows in comparison with other living 
beings a quasi-physiological permanence which is moreover in 
perfect harmony with the hypothesis of transformation. Man, 
it is true, is above everything else the product of millions 
of years of evolution, undergone by the first plasma. He is 
subsequently the late product of a geological epoch, which has 
followed so many preceding transformations realised on our 
globe. But once having appeared in his present form, he has 
scarcely varied morphologically, since the far-back period when 
we first trace his marks on the earth. Without wishing to 
divine the reasons of his organic persistence, it is enough to state 
that man is far from presenting as many traits entirely dissimilar 
from his primitive stock, as we recognise in examining the 
representatives of the other worlds. Nowhere is this 
phenomenon seen in man, which is so general elsewhere. If 
everywhere the number of varieties tends to augment and 
to differentiate more and more, the human species alone is an 
exception to this rule. 

What then are varieties if they are not species in way of 
formation? It is enough to transport an animal or vegetable 


group into a new country, to see with what rapidity its mor- 
phological structure changes in adapting itself to the changed 
conditions of its existence. Can the same be said of man ? 

It is generally admitted that each being tends to progress, 
that is to say, to perfect itself. In what does progress consist ? 
Beings in evolving place themselves in a more and more 
intimate harmony with their surroundings. Looked at from 
this point of view, man is no exception to the rule admitted 
with regard to all other organic creations. What varies is the 
form of progress. In nearly all organised beings it is restricted, 
according to the definition of von Baer, to the specialisation of 
the different parts of the body, conformably with their functions 
as with the extent of these differentiated parts. In a word, every- 
thing is reduced to the augmentation of the differentiated 
members which must be specialised in the functions assigned to 
them in the economy of the organism. Only allowing that for 
vertebrates progress is specially limited to the perfecting of 
their intellect, it would be a fortiori the same in the case of 
man. Is he not the intelligent being par excellence ? Moreover 
his royal position in nature, which he has acquired in the course 
of his existence, having become his owing to this unique factor, 
it is very natural that progress in his case should manifest itself 
solely in this particular. 

On the other hand, having acquired a morphological organisa- 
tion fitted to render him the greatest services in the struggle 
for life, man only needs to guard its normal working. Here 
again his intellect serves him as a guide and a sure regulator. 
This explains why we notice so little change in him since the 
earliest traces of prehistoric man. The skulls which, like the 
organs of mastication, have served in particular to distinguish 
men, present no perceptible differences. 

Men of past epochs did not give birth to species analogous to 
those of the animal or vegetable world. As we shall see later 
on, the bases of distinction between human beings are sometimes 
fictitious, sometimes superficial and always deceptive. The 
reason for this phenomenon is evident. Man has evolved 
under the influence of intellectual and psychical factors. The 
progress which has been particularly marked in this domain has 


left the morphological domain almost intact. When modifica- 
tions appear they are of a transient nature and in every case 
realisable by other men when placed in like conditions. 

The animal life of man, in whatever latitude, has always had 
to reckon with his brain or his soul, whose influence neutralised 
the action directed against his physiological unity. Man from 
all times has been driven to dominate external obstacles and to 
subjugate them to the profit of his own individuality. These 
efforts of his common mentality have given him analogous or 
rather identical traits. This is one of the principal reasons 
which make humanity one and indivisible. Its distinctions 
will always be concerned with superficial details. These, 
coming as the result of momentary circumstances, disappear 
with them, which is an additional proof that they do not 
touch the essence of his being. 

It is thus that so many phenomena which in other worlds 
characterise the appearance of races and varieties perish before 
human resistance. For instance, the preponderating influence 
which parasites exercise on the birth of new races is known ; 
under the influence of certain insects acting on plants these are 
transformed into new varieties. According to the observations 
of M. Marin Maillard, 1 the flowers of the Matricaria inodora, 
when attacked by the Perosnospora Radii, assume the form of 
the double flowers of the Radiae. 

We could quote other innumerable examples. 

All these variations in plants are complemented by the 
anatomical changes of the vegetative or floral organs. The 
mass of these modifications go so far as to constitute new 
species or races. 

We know the imposing number of the diseases of a parasitic 
nature which ravage humanity. Nevertheless, neither under 
the influence of the bacteria of yellow fever, nor those of 
syphilis or diphtheria, does man as a species degenerate, nor 
does he rise to the formation of a new variety. If the individual 
is hurt or destroyed, the human species remains intact. When 
the majority of its members are assailed by the action of certain 
destroying parasites, a people naturally begins to show signs of 
1 Rtcherchet ur lea cteidiea jlorolet. 


physical decadence. But it is sufficient that the cause of the 
evil should disappear in order that this apparent decadence might 
disappear also. We have seen it among people who are victims 
of malaria, after the marshes have dried and the parasites of 
this malady have been annihilated. Whatever may be the 
virulence of the evil, it never causes the appearance of a new 
species of men nor the disintegration of humanity. 



THERE are as many anthropological schools as there are 
divisions among men. Their arbitrariness is obvious. It is 
sufficient to examine their foundations to see their fantastical 
character. Whereas some only try to divide humanity into four 
strictly distinct branches, others, more generous, go so far as to 
present hundreds of divisions and subdivisions. The multiplicity 
of all these systems and the impossibility of defending these 
outrageous and extravagant hypotheses are so many warnings 
to unprejudiced people to guard themselves against these quasi- 
scientific discoveries. What increases the difficulty of locating 
oneself in this labyrinth is that every classification, whatever its 
value, is decidedly vague and idealistic, for with rare exceptions 
human beings as anthropological types or divisions are every- 
where commingled. 

The incessant migrations in the past, as well as the mutual 
interpenetration of peoples in modern times, make a pure race 
answering to the ideas of the theorists almost impossible of 

Let us add that specialists themselves, who undertake the 
difficult task of splitting humanity into ethnical races and 
groups, are rarely united on the nature and the essential 
characteristics of these groupings. For it is as easy to find 
the pure type of any zoological species as it is hard to find 
one in the world of man. 

When, after having adopted a precise definition on the sub- 
ject of any race, it is believed that a representative in flesh 
and bones has been found, many characteristics are seen which 
mark him off clearly from the type which he ought to incarnate. 


Real life, \\ithout otherwise considering the superior interests of 
anthropologists, has endowed him with one or many traits which 
sometimes distinguish him slightly from others and sometimes 
fix him decidedly in an ethnical group from which he ought to 
be fundamentally separated. The more the many cases are 
studied of individuals matured in some human agglomeration, 
the more is it seen that in all real instances they are attached by 
visible or invisible links to all those from whom it is desired to 
detach them. 

After all, has not the historical evolution of peoples placed an 
invincible obstacle in the way of all these divisions ? With the 
exception of primitive or entirely savage peoples, the number of 
which is insignificant, the countries which have played or are 
playing, or are destined some time to play, a part in the march 
of humanity, have become the scene of an infinite mixture of 
peoples, groups and races. Wherever we turn our eyes we 
nowhere see anthropological groups, but ethnical agglome- 
rations created by community of language or that of econo- 
mical, social, political and religious interests. 

Sheltered on the same soil, bound together by common 
interests, connected by unions of blood and family, evolving 
under the influence of analogous conditions of psychic and moral 
surroundings, exposed and condemned to undergo the impress 
of so many conditions of heredity and of the formation of their 
physiological, intellectual and moral type, the component parts 
of a people, which last is a purely abstract expression, become 
finally similar to one another in spite of the diversity of their 
origins. Owing to the influence of inter-breeding, practised 
almost unconsciously, they lose their essential differences, if ever 
they had them. Owing to the influence of the conditions of 
an identical life they acquire a common type, resulting from so 
many factors, which have fashioned the human species. 

The more one reflects on the matter, the more it is perceived 
that if the division into races ever had its cause in a distant 
past, it has lost them in the course of history. As humanity 
advances, the theory of races recedes. The two only form a 
game of see-saw, the one end going up as the other goes down. 
It is thus that theoretically the science of races seems to be 
condemned beforehand, when regarded without the partisanship 


of a school or of blind human pride. The type of race conceived 
in irrealisable conditions must necessarily be somewhat fictitious 
if it is to be considered outside of its historical past. Strictly 
speaking, we can understand the speculations of a palaeontologist 
who, taking his stand on fossil remains, tries to reconstruct by 
their aid certain contrary types of men, but with greatest 
difficulty can we conceive the attitude of a modern anthropolo- 
gist who, in the face of some of the inhabitants of different 
European countries, finds it necessary to lodge them in opposite 
camps. Whereas his attempt at division, based on an uncertain 
science, fastens on all sorts of transient and deceptive traits, 
the unity of civilised man which lies behind this mirage laughs 
at all these subterfuges and presents itself in smiling harmony 
to impartial observation. 

In the first place, what is a human race, this type of 
differentiation to which it is desired to bring back humanity ? 
When this term, race, is used in speaking of domestic 
animals, its meaning and bearing are easily grasped. But the 
life of human beings, evolving under the influence of so many 
distinctive elements, does not allow the use of the same term. It 
is to man that the theory maintained with so much talent by 
Lamarck is particularly applicable, viz., " The classifications are 
artificial, for nature has created neither classes nor orders nor 
families nor kinds nor permanent species, but only individuals." 
Moreover it is enough to examine the individuals composing an 
ethnical group in order to see that there are more differences 
between them than between races conceived as opposing unities. 

Herbert Spencer 1 also tells us that classifications are only 
subjective conceptions to which no demarcation corresponds in 
nature. Their only purpose is to limit and arrange the matters 
submitted to our researches, in order to facilitate the work of 
the mind. Unfortunately, this logical process, the purpose of 
which should be to simplify our studies by assisting the memory, 
acquires in the eyes of the profane a real and independent 
existence. A simple symbol under these conditions receives a 
soul and becomes a living entity. In classification, which is 
the logical means of grouping these facts, one gradually becomes 
accustomed to see an expression of real life. The four or forty 
1 Principles of Biology. 


races or sub-races are thus deemed to represent to our eyes real 
and essential divisions. With the assistance of the defects of 
our mentality, those very persons who knowingly used the 
logical method of division become afterwards its first victims. 
By using this two-edged sword, anthropologists succumb to 
their own reasoning. They often begin by speaking of races as 
artificial categories and end by treating them as fixed barriers 
between human beings. Entirely subservient to their mental 
divisions which have been created by reasoning, they forget 
that each being has its own individuality, and that the indi- 
vidual is the only objective reality. They forget, in addition, 
that race is only a conception of our mind, the consequence of 
subjective thought, depending as much on our faculties as on 
the weakness of our reasoning. Moreover, they also express 
our sentiments of like and dislike. 

We thus perceive a whole series of obstacles rising before the 
man who classifies. 

When he happens by chance to unite in himself an impartial 
spirit, vast knowledge, the patience of an observer, and a 
superhuman perseverance in collecting facts, he must not forget 
that his edifice is only a simple mirage of logical processes. 
Its construction is limited by his conscience and by his weak 
and fallible reasonings. For (and we cannot insist sufficiently 
on this point) race is only an abstract image, the existence of 
which does not lie outside our brain. 


The word " race " is of modern origin. Its fanatics, it is 
true, find it in Hippocrates himself, but in that far-back time 
the term " race " cannot have had the signification which we 
attribute to it in our day. Topinard only notes it about the 
year 1600. Francois Taut, notably in his Trisor de la langue 
franfaise, seems to be the first who used it in the modern sense. 
" Race comes from radix, a root (so he tells us), and refers to 
the extraction of man, dog or horse. We say they are of good 
or bad race." 

With Buffon the idea of race enters into the world of science. 
Let us note this singular fact that the illustrious author of the 


Histoire naturelle gdndrale et particuliere l is much nearer the 
truth in his definition of race than many savants of our time. 
Race, to him, is only a variety caused and fixed by climatic 
influences, food and habits. But this fixity is subordinate to 
the milieu, according to Buffon. It "persists as long as 
the milieu remains and disappears when the milieu changes." 
From Buffon's time likewise, the scientific researches on the 
varieties which are met with in the human species might 
be dated. In following the movement inaugurated by him, 
Daubenton published his curious memoir on le Trou occipital 
dans I'homme et les animaux, and Camper, the famous Dutch 
physician, his Dissertation sur les differences re'elles que prd- 
sentent les traits du visage chez les hommes de diffirents pays et 
de diff^rents ages (1791). Having conceived his work more 
from an artistic point of view (for the author's purpose was to 
provide artists with the means of comparing the heads of men 
of different races), Camper afterwards enlarged his field and 
included the animal world as well. It is to him we owe the 
famous "facial angle," which was to engender subsequently 
hundreds of anthropometrical measures. Almost at the same 
time as Camper, Blumenbach brought out his Decades VIII. 
craniarum diversarum gentium (1790-1808). The start was 
given. From almost everywhere there came from that time 
studies on races with their various definitions and classifications. 

The beginning of the nineteenth century was the epoch of 
great travels and fruitful explorations. It was likewise the 
epoch of the blossoming of the natural sciences. The struggle 
revolving round the unity and the plurality of the human 
species set going several generations of savants. Does humanity 
descend from a single primitive type (monogenesis) or has it 
several distinct ancestors (polygenesis) ? Here is a quarrel 
which has brought us a most imposing literature. 

Let us state, however, that polygenesis is being more and 
more proved to be erroneous, the theory of the evolution of 
species having given it a mortal blow. But all the vicissitudes 
of this desperate struggle reacted on the science of races. If the 
multiplicity of human origins had triumphed, what arguments 
there would have been in favour of the superiority of certain 

1 Vol. V. 



human stocks over others ! There was even a time when slave 
merchants and the barbarous governments which protected their 
commerce used polygenesis to justify the traffic in Negroes, who 
were regarded as having originated outside white humanity. 1 
Fortunately, as the science of man advanced, polygenesis lost 
ground. To-day the question of the unity or plurality of our 
species appears to be postponed. Let us take this opportunity 
of stating that this dispute has only a purely theoretical value 
from the point of view of our thesis. As we shall see later on, 
inasmuch as all these differences between human beings are lost 
under the influence of the milieu, the doctrine of equality may 
be defended in spite of and even in opposition to the upholders 
of polygenesis. 

With this imaginary enemy actually in its death-throes, and 
with the ground of discussion thus cleared, the philosophy of 
races anticipates nothing but profit. Consequently, as Darwin 2 
remarks, it becomes a matter of indifference whether the diverse 
human varieties are designated under the name of races or 
whether the expressions species and sub-species be used. Let 
us, therefore, put on one side the species of the upholders of 
polygenesis, and occupy ourselves with human races properly 
so called. 

Everything which we have said above of their abstract and 
conventional value makes us assume the ease and spontaneity 
with which they are born and divided. In reality a dictionary 
of races, according to the anthropologists, would require a thick 
book with thousands of names and as many headings. 

The wherefore of this diversity is often only to be found in the 
desire to be distinguished from one's forerunners or to bewilder 
the crowd. It would, without doubt, be wearisome to examine 
them from every point of view. Only the curiosity and the 
vogue which certain systems have enjoyed could justify such 
an examination. We shall quote some of them according to 

1 The theory of monogenesis is defended with a wealth of the most con- 
vincing arguments by Prichard in his classical Researches into the Physical 
History of Man (1837; 5 vols. ), and in the luminous study of Quatrefages, 
VEspece humaine. The two authors seem to us to have completely exhausted 
the subject. 

2 Descent of Man. 


the notoriety of their authors and the value of their definitions. 
The mass of them will show us their purely conventional 


According to I. Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire, the word race com- 
prises "a succession of individuals born of one another, and 
distinguished by certain characteristics which have become 
permanent." Let us note, however, that permanence does 
not mean fixity, and therefore this definition has the merit 
of being distinctly liberal in the sense of the continual vari- 
ability of human beings. Prichard goes still further in this 
direction, and adds that "the collected individuals forming a 
race present certain characteristics more or less common to all, 
and transmissible by heredity, whilst the origin of these 
characteristics is left on one side and held back." According to 
Quatrefages, " race is an aggregate of individuals resembling 
one another, belonging to the same species, having received and 
transmitting by way of generation the characteristics of a primi- 
tive variety." The word primitive clearly betrays the thought of 
the ardent defender of the unity of the human species, for his de- 
finition leads us to believe that from the beginning of humanity 
there were clearly established varieties ! This is the idea which 
prevails in the writings of the upholders of polygenesis. Accord- 
ing to Pouchet, for example, the word race means " the different 
natural groups of the human family." 

All modern anthropologists, however, only see in human 
races varieties bound together by certain common character- 
istics. Broca is equally careful to add that this more or less 
direct relationship between individuals of the same variety 
" does not solve, either affirmatively or negatively, the question 
of affinity between individuals of different varieties." 

Nevertheless, after descending from these heights, we see what 
a gulf often separates these definitions from their application. 
For even the broadest of them which concede most to the specific 
characteristics of the variations, appear to make amends for having 
used the word race which is so inappropriate to human beings. 

Under the influence of the analogous use of the term which 



is also applied to the animal world, there arises in our mind the 
conception of identity between human races and animal races. 
Interest and passion, which are absent when we are concerned 
with the other two kingdoms, enter here with such force that 
they finally create clouds which completely hide or in any case 
modify the real import of the term. For, because human 
varieties are defined in the same way as animal and vegetable 
varieties, it does not follow that they are identical We have 
already seen that, on the contrary, the distinctive traits are 
as clearly marked and defined in the other kingdoms as 
they are transitory among human beings. Thus in the animal 
or vegetable world, when there is a salient characteristic which 
sharply separates from its surroundings a group or race, such a 
characteristic is constant and as stable as possible. It is met 
with in its fixed form throughout the whole of the variety, and 
its permanence and rigorous stability constitute the essence of 
the variety. Is it the same with human beings ? Here not 
only do the individuals not resemble the type which ought to 
incarnate the race, but this type of race itself is, according to 
Lamarck's just statement, only a product of art. 

Moreover it is sufficient to remember the fact of intelligence 
which cements the unity of the human species. Its influence 
even fashions their morphology. Only this circumstance 
makes the application of the term race to men and animals 
in a similar sense impossible. Yet our mental necessity 
which forces us to classify and arrange facts is the cause of 
this fatal division of humanity. But in order to avoid the in- 
convenience, we must do away with this identity of terms. 
The word race appears to us, for the reasons indicated, quite 
inappropriate. The identity of the word implies for simple 
minds an identity of phenomena, which makes us understand 
the ease with which the masses come to conceive of human 
and animal races in the same light. To avoid confusion in 
our ideas, the cause of the confusion must be destroyed. Instead 
therefore of the term " race," that of " human variety " should 
be used in preference. Moreover its definition should take into 
account the facts established by the science of man. Inasmuch 
as the distinctive traits of human varieties are the products of the 
milieu, which after having created them, can afterwards destroy 


them, this circumstance of first importance should likewise 
not be omitted in the definition. From this point of view, 
a human variety maybe defined as a group of individuals bound 
together by certain permanent characteristics and distinguished by 
other passing traits from other human groups. The permanent 
characteristics in this case are those characteristics which are 
common to the whole of humanity. The passing character- 
istics are those distinctions which are only the effect of the 
many circumstances amassed by the milieu and which are 
merely of a temporary nature. This definition has the advant- 
age of laying special stress on the unity of humanity and of 
setting in relief the importan* distinction between human 
divisions and animal divisions. 


The necessarily vague sense in which the word race is used 
by all authors has facilitated the appearance of numerous 
classifications. The meaning of definition is "to state the 
attributes which distinguish a particular thing and which 
pertain to it to the exclusion of everything else." 1 Now, as we 
shall see later on, nature has certainly sown distinctive and 
exclusive traits with an exasperating profusion amongst all 
human varieties. A race has sometimes one and sometimes 
ten or twenty qualities analogous or dissimilar to that which it 
is desired to contrast with it. How then can it be distinguished 
from the mass of the others and given its proper definition ? 
It becomes still more difficult to classify all the human varieties. 
How is it to be done ? 

This demarcation of human beings is somewhat like the 
task which would fall on a mathematician to find the number 
of the different combinations into which twenty persons placed 
round a table could be formed. We know, for example, that 
the placing of twelve persons can effect 479 million combina- 
tions, whilst an additional person would bring the number 
up to 6,500,000,000. If one adds still another person, the 
fourteen could effect 91,000,000,000 combinations. When we 
come to fifteen persons, the number of possible combinations 

1 Lattr6's Dictionnaire de la Langue fran$aite. 


attains the fantastic figure of 1,350,000,000,000. Now, the 
number of the elements which enter into the classification of 
human beings is very considerable. The anthropologists of the 
ship Novare (see the works of Weisbach) adopted forty-two 
methods of measurement, whilst anthropological instructions 
generally demand from observers from twenty to forty necessary 
data. Broca takes note of thirty-four of the first order, 
Topinard eighteen necessary and fifteen optional ones, whereas 
Quetelet points out forty-two in his Anthropomttrie. And 
when it is considered that though essential they are not 
identical in all authors, the possibility and the facility with 
which human races may be created at will can be easily 
imagined ! Far from being astonished at the number already 
extant, we must bless Heaven for having preserved us from a 
thousand million races and consequent classifications ! 

Let us, however, endeavour to quote several of the most 
scientific, now that their purely relative value has been shown 
by all that we have said above. 

Let us begin with that of Linnaeus, who still appears in modern 
anthropology under diverse forms. According to him, man com- 
prises three different sections, viz., sapiens, ferns and monsiruosus. 
The first is subdivided into Europeans with fair hair, blue eyes 
and white complexions ; the Asiatic with blackish hair, brown 
eyes and yellowish complexion ; the African with black and 
woolly hair, flat nose and thick lips ; the American with tawny 
complexion, black hair and beardless chin. The man ferus 
(savage) is mute, hairy and walks on all fours, whereas the man 
monstruosus is divided into plagiocephalic and microcephalic. 

Professor Blumenbach popularised the word Caucasian, which 
applies to a whole human variety originating in the Caucasus. 
This term was maintained by Cuvier, who, as against Blumen- 
bach, admitted only three instead of five races (Caucasian, Mon- 
golian and Negro). He multiplies, however, the subdivisions. 
Thus with him the white or Caucasian race has three branches : 
Aramean (Semitic), the Indo-pelasgian and the Scythotartar. 
The Mongolian branch comprises the Chinese, Kalmucks, Man- 
churians, Japanese, Coreans and the inhabitants of the Caroline 
and Marian Islands. 

Bory de Saint- Vincent, starting from the position that Adam 


was only the father of the Jews, divided humanity into fifteen 
species, and these in their turn into a number of races and sub- 
races. Let us add that it is the Arabian species which has the 
signal honour of sheltering the descendants of Adam, who are 
divided into Jews and Arabs, whereas all the other species, 
Hyperborean, Australian, Columbian, &c., are outside these 
privileged limits. 

Subsequently the classifications in being, multiplied and rami- 
fied to suit the convenience of savants and of their more or less 
exact notions of human conformation and qualities, varied from 
the three races of Cuvier, the four of Leibnitz and Kant, and the 
nine centres of Agassiz, and at length reached a hundred. Even 
a hundred and twenty have been proclaimed in certain anthropo- 
logical congresses. 

Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire divides human beings into 
orthognathic (oval face with vertical jaws), eurignathic (high 
cheek bones, Mongolian type), prognathic (projecting jaws 
Ethiopian type), eurignathic and prognathic (cheek bones far 
apart, projecting jaws, Hottentot type). 

Gratiolet distinguished frontal, parietal and occipital races, 
characterised by the prominence of the front, middle and back 
parts of the skull and brain. 

According to Huxley, men are divided into two capital sec- 
tions, the ulotrichi with woolly hair and the lesostrichi with 
smooth hair. 

Certain anthropologists would divide humanity according 
to the facial profile. Warushkin * in this way discovers 
the Mongolian, African, European and Juvenile profiles. 
The first is weak in two ways, horizontal and vertical. The 
second is weakly developed horizontally, but strongly accen- 
tuated vertically. It is found among the Negroes and Austra- 
lians. The European type is distinguished by a profile strongly 
marked in both ways. The Juvenile profile, which is proper 
to Slavs and youths, is strongly accentuated horizontally, but 
slightly vertically. 

As the science of man develops, the desire to classify and 
simplify the collected facts encourages more and more numerous 
demarcations of men. 

1 Ueber die Prqfilirung dct Qeaichtsschaedel*. 


As morphology is no longer sufficient for this task, they have 
recourse to the psychological and mental life in order to find in 
them new standpoints. Thus it is that the ideal tendencies and 
aspirations of human beings are taken into account and so 
contribute to render more difficult the pass in which the classi- 
fiers find themselves. Among the anthropo-psychologists with 
whom we shall be occupied later on, the number of divisions 
becomes incalculable, for fancy and caprice replace in a decided 
manner the measurements of the savants. We remember in this 
connection the attempts of M. F^tis to divide humanity according 
to the musical systems of its representatives, and that of C4sar 
Daly advocating, with the same object in view, the differences 
according to architectonic works. 

The few facts noticed are sufficient to reveal the vague interest 
of all these divisions. To give a more exact idea of them we 
shall proceed in an anatomical order. We shall examine man 
according to the essential parts of his body and we shall study the 
consecutive divisions founded on them. The systematic study 
of the salient parts of our organism allows us to grasp vividly 
the difficulties which the science of races has to combat. As 
the essential divisions of human beings have their starting- 
point especially in the head and the comparative conformation 
of its parts, their analysis will singularly facilitate our task. 
For let us not forget that the skull and the brain, prognathism 
and the facial angles have furnished for their part nine-tenths 
of all the divisions and of all the systems of inequality 
among human beings. 



THE skull has served as a starting-point for a whole series of 
divisions among human beings, adopted by the anthropologists 
of all countries and of the most diverse schools. In its more 
or less defined forms, natural frontiers of separation among 
men, united under so many other aspects, were thought dis- 
coverable. The various forms of the skull in this way caused 
humanity to be divided into more opposed categories than could 
have been done by their different modes of living or thinking. 

Craniometry, this important branch of anthropology, hence- 
forward assumed an altogether overwhelming position in the 
science of human races. With its fellow, cephalometry, it is 
responsible for the innumerable errors with which modern 
anthropology overflows. 

Cephalometry gives the head measure of a living being or of 
a corpse, whereas craniometry only takes account of the bare 
skull. With reference to measurements, there now exist 
numerous instruments as well as complicated methods. Unfor- 
tunately measurements of the skull continue to be made by 
all sorts of amateurs who are ignorant of this important fact, 
that, from a simple amusement, craniometry has almost be- 
come a science, and one of very technical complexity. The lack 
of method and of elementary ideas which characterises the works 
of so many amateur anthropologists results in particular in a 
lack of unity and cohesion in their observations. This robs 
their easy and superficial generalisations of all credibility. 


Even those who have recourse to special instruments do not 
know how to use them. Thus a large number of measure- 
ments made are often grotesque, and nearly always useless, 
because each investigator has used the instruments in his own 
way. When the instruments are the same, there is need to 
be careful not to change methods in the course of the re- 
search. These quasi-experimentalists, however, adopt measure- 
ments condemned by experience, and neglect others which are 
indispensable. They compare numbers which have only in 
common the names of the headings under which it is desired 
to place them. In this way considerable errors and shocking 
inexactitudes are made which disconcert the specialists and 
engender ridiculous ideas among the ignorant. Truth is only 
saved through errors which are " gross as a mountain, open, palp- 
able.'' This seems paradoxical, but is nevertheless true, for 
these superfluities and extravagances of science enter even 
into the works of comparative anthropology and create 
hopeless confusion in the thought of credulous readers. The 
doctrinaires, then, rejoice in the essential differences which 
separate not only the brains of savage and civilised men but also 
the inhabitants of two neighbouring communities. Science, 
which generally rebels against monstrous mistakes, allows 
itself to be duped by errors apparently trivial, which, once 
admitted into its domain, cause incalculable complications. A 
specialist in cephalic anthropometry, who would show up the 
innumerable faults and inexactitudes with which the works 
of the best known anthropologists swarm, would have before 
him the labours of a new Hercules. 

Of the immense mass of craniological estimates there would 
perhaps only be a vast chaos of errors which would make any 
positive conclusion impossible. It is enough to say that even 
two specialists, accustomed to technical methods of measure- 
ment, can make serious mistakes in working on the same 
subject if they have not taken the precaution of harmonising 
their methods at the beginning. 

The anthropologists in general seem to be faithful to the 
popular dictum which identifies a strong head with a big 
one. But without espousing Aristotle's paradox that the 
smallest heads are also the most intelligent, and that man 


arrives at greater intelligence than other animals merely 
because the dimensions of his head are relatively smaller, we 
must nevertheless repudiate the forced relativity of the head's 
bigness to its intelligence. Professor Parchappe, in his 
luminous Recherchcs sur I'encdphale, sa structure, ses fonctions et 
scs maladies (1836), used later on by Broca, opposes with 
many confirmatory proofs the necessary connection between 
imbecility or idiocy and a decided smallness of head. He 
stated, for example, after a number of comparative measure- 
ments, that of the fifty heads of men of normal intelligence 
which he had studied, seven had inferior dimensions to those of 
the imbecile subjected to observation, whereas thirteen of them 
had dimensions very slightly superior. On the other hand, 
the head of an intelligent woman was found to be perceptibly 
inferior to the dimensions of the head of an idiot. Parchappe 
concludes from this that intelligence can manifest itself in its 
normal degree in a head whose volume is inferior, equal, or 
only slightly superior to the volume of the heads of idiots. 
Even among these last, and among classified imbeciles, the 
degree of intelligence is not in proportion to the bigness of the 
head. Thus, in his list of imbeciles, the feeblest, whose head 
was only in horizontal circumference 460 millimetres, proved 
to be the most intelligent of the group, for he alone spoke and 
knew the value of money. 


The measurement of an essential element like the cubature 
of the skull, made according to the same method, can give 
results differing to the extent of 100 centimetres. The differ- 
ences of the occipital length of the same head may present 
differences of about 20 millimetres. The result depends not 
only on the difference of instruments but also on the way of 
measuring the parts submitted to examination. An anthro- 
pologist as circumspect as M. L. Manouvrier formulates even 
this bold conclusion, " that it is imprudent to use the anthropo- 
metrical figures collected by observers whose method of work 
is not known de visu unless it is found that they served a 
practical apprenticeship in a laboratory or with a master whose 


method is known, or, still better, unless they have minutely 
described their mode of operation." x 

It is sufficient then to take note of the complicated pro- 
cesses of measurement as practised in the anthropometries 1 
laboratories of our time, to perceive how much the value of 
these hasty generalisations on the human races is to be 

Most of the treatises on our organic inequality appear 
forgetful of the fact that the size and form of the skull depend 
in the first place on the physical constitution. On the other 
hand, the cephalic index is not always at one with the form of 
the skull which ought to result from it. Sergi, 2 for instance, 
has demonstrated that a skull which, according to the measure- 
ment of the index, ought to be dolichocephalic might be 
brachycephalic and vice versa. Nor can reliance be placed on 
the division of the skull's height by its length, for " a skull 
which on examination appears developed in height may, on 
the contrary, be low if of notable length " (Giuffrida Ruggeri). 
The same anthropologist, perceiving the great variability of the 
skull, suggests a classification of skulls according to morpho- 
logical, ethnical and sexual variations, physical constitution, 
variations on the ground of atavism and infancy, and, lastly, 
individual variations. Manouvrier dwells on the difficulty of 
connecting the numerous variations of the skull with the 
variations of intelligence or character. According to him " it 
is absolutely erroneous to make of the variations of the 
cephalic index a sort of phrenology of races, for no biological 
fact justifies it." " On the contrary (he tells us), the variations 
of the cephalic index are the most insignificant physio- 
logically. In the brachycephalic, the skull gains in breadth 
what it loses in length." 

On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that many 
peoples have had their skulls altered under the influence of 
purely mechanical causes. 

The custom of deforming the head in order to give it a 
narrow shape, which seemed to be d la mode long before the 

1 See L. Manouvrier's Ciphalomttrvt anthropologiqut in the A nnte psycho- 
logique, 1899. 
3 Specie e varieta umant. 


time of Gobineau and Ammon, was in past time much in vogue. 
Hippocrates speaks of the macrocephalic folk who, as the 
result of artificial deformation, had long heads. The heads of 
children from their tenderest age were subjected to pressure by 
means of bandages and with the aid of mechanical pressure. 
In time, Hippocrates tells us, the change became natural. 1 
Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Pliny, &c., confirm this custom. 
Sidonius Apollinarius himself tells us with a mass of details 
which he brings to bear on the matter how the members of a 
people who came from the Scythian plains (the Hans) succeeded 
in giving to their heads the form of a cone. 2 According to 
Ame'de'e Thierry, 3 certain peoples overcome by the Huns 
imitated their custom of deforming the skull in order to 
resemble them, whence sprang the numerous traces of this 
custom which is met with even in our days. 

We also find in the old books of Adrian Spiegel of Brussels, 4 
&c., J. Bodin, 5 &c., curious indications concerning the processes 
adopted by Belgians to possess skulls like the dolichocephalic 
heads of their Germanic conquerors. They bandaged the heads 
of adults, but they commonly began by tightening the heads of 
the new-born. 

Lagneau believes that he can trace the Toulousian deformation 
of the skull to the Volci or Galates or Belgae, of the northern 
Germanic race, whereas Broca ascribes it to the Kimmerians. 
According to Foville, 6 this cranial deformation is found among 
the inhabitants of the departments of Aude, Haute-Garonne, 
Tarn, &c. 

In Limousin such a custom also exists. Among the 
descendants of the ancient Lemovices, according to M. Blanchard, 
the custom of using very tight bonnets in order to give the 
head a long shape still exists. This allowed more room 

1 Hippocrates, On airs and waters, Vol. II. 

9 Panegyric of Anthemius. 8 HistoirecTAUilaetdeseasuccesseurs, Vol. II. 

4 De humani corporis fabrica. Venetis, 1727. 

8 Methodus adfacilem historiarum cognitionem. Amstelodami, 1850. 

" Deformation du crdne, 1834, quoted by Lagneau in his Anthropologie de 
France : " The head being submitted from infancy to the circular constriction 
of a fronto-occipital bandage which depresses the coronal and the bregmatic 
fontanel, there results a diminution of the encephalic capacity and the reduc- 
tion of the frontal lodge. The anterior cerebral lobe, depressed above and in 
front, lengthens from the front to the back at the expense of the parietal lobe." 
See also Broca's Sur la deformation toulousaine du crdne. 


for memory, according to the precepts of the Jesuit Father, 
Josset, which are very popular in that district. 

It must also not be forgotten that the form of the skull may 
change under the influence of diet. This is at least what 
Nathusius, Nystrom l and so many other observers affirm. 
Darwin had already 2 taught us that the skulls of many of our 
improved and domesticated races had varied perceptibly, and 
he quotes in addition to pigs diverse races of rabbits and many 
races of fowls. 

It must likewise be remembered that there is a perceptible 
difference between the skulls of men and those of women. 
This demarcation has an importance which deserves con- 
sideration. Many German savants who have made a special 
study of the craniological differences between the two sexes 
of the German people have certain typical traits to show us on 
this subject. A. Ecker dwells on the specific structure of the 
female skull, especially in what concerns the vertex (the most 
elevated point in the skull's arch). According to Welcker, the 
skull of German women is in general narrower and flatter than 
that of the men. Virchow even tells us that this difference 
exercises a decided influence on the cranial configuration, for in 
progeniture, where maternal influence predominates, the skull, 
including that of male infants, is affected by the cranial struc- 
ture of the mother. If the fact observed by Virchow was 
authentic, humanity would have before it fresh prospects for the 
evolution of skulls and their infinite differentiation. 


Since the time that Gobineau and his followers allowed 
themselves to be hypnotised by the conformation of the human 
brain, science has made singular reports. It has found in the 
first place that dolichocephaly, so much envied and sought 
after, is especially to be found among savage and primitive 
peoples. To attribute to these the first rank among human 
beings would no doubt be extravagant. 

1 Formenveraenderungen dee menschlichen ScJiaedels (Arch. f. Anthrop., 1902). 
a Variation dea animaux et dee plantet, Vol. II. 


The dolichocephalic index under 76 is to be found in par- 
ticular among Hottentots, the Krous Negroes, the Muchikongo 
and Bakongo (73) and the Ashanti, in Africa ; the Papuans of 
New Guinea (74), diverse Australians, the islanders of the New 
Hebrides and the Tasmanians, in Oceania ; also among Hindu 
tribes (Kota, Badagas, Todas of Nilghiri), the Ainos of Saghalien, 
the Pathans of the Punjaub, &c., in Asia; the Eskimos, 
Hurons and Botocudos, &c., in America ; whereas in Europe it 
is especially the Corsicans and Portuguese who appear to embody 
the ideal of M. Gobineau and M. Lapouge (74 and 76). 

The sub-dolichocephalic are represented among the Bushmen, 
Hausas, the M'Zabites, and other African tribes ; among the 
islanders of Sumba, the Kurds, Japanese, Ostiaks, Turkomanns, 
Northern Chinese, Tartar Highlanders, &c., in Asia; the 
inhabitants of the Solomon Isles, the Marquesas Isles, divers 
Polynesians, &c., in Oceania; divers Indians, half-caste Algonquins, 
the Eskimos of Alaska, Iroquois, Sioux, Fuegians, in America. 
All these tribes find their equals in Europe in cephalic index 
among the Flemish Belgians, the French of Roussillon, 
Sardinians, Sicilians, Spanish Basques, &c. 

Let us now pass to the mesocephalic (between 79 and 81*8). 
The Dutch and the Normans in Europe correspond with the 
Chinese of the South and the Bororo of the Amazon basin, 
whereas the inhabitants of Provence (81'7) correspond with 
the Aracanians or the Teleoutes in Asia (81 - 8) and the Omaha 
in America. 

The French of the department du Nord (80'4) are on the 
same level with the Crow Indians (America), the Nicobarians 
and the Tipperds of Tchittagong (in Asia). Our Limousians 
and P^rigordians, to whom anthropology ascribes an index 
of 80 4 7, correspond with the Nahuqua of Brazil and the Battas 
of Lake Toba, &c. 

The sub-brachycephalic (between 82 and 84'8) are represented 
with the same abundance among the people of Java, Coreans, 
Annamites, Patagonians, Polynesians of Tahiti or Pomotou, 
as among the Italians in general, Magyars, Ruthenians, 
Tcherkesses, the Great Russians, Belgian Walloons, Russian 
and Galician Jews, Laplanders, the Badois, Votiaks, Bretons, 
the half-savage tribe of Mordwa (Russia), the Tartars of the 


Caucasus and the French in general. If it is a question of the 
hyper-brachycephalic (over 87), the craniologists tell us that 
they are to be found among the Roumanches of Switzerland 
and the Khirgiz-Kasaks, as well as among the French of La 
Lozere, Cantal and Haute-Loire, the Jews of the Daghestan 
and the Lapps who inhabit the extreme north of Scandinavian 

What conclusion can be drawn from this except that all 
these craniological measurements teach us almost nothing 
concerning the mental capacity and the moral value of 
peoples ? 

Admitting that these anthropometrical calculations are 
absolutely and strictly exact, one is forced to draw odd 
deductions with reference to the respective value of races. 

We are driven to place on the same level the Bushmen and 
the French of Roussillon, the Teleoutes and the French of the 
department du Nord, the Nahuquas of Brazil and the French 
of Limousin and the PeVigord ; the Mordwa, the Tartars and 
the Votiaks, on the same level as the French in general, the 
most representative type of European thought and civilisation ! 

On the other hand, the champions of the organic inequality 
of races, in desiring to hurl back these conclusions, see themselves 
spoiled of that which they have proclaimed as the most solid 
part and basis of their theory. For what is there left to them 
when once the cephalic index is gone ? 


The world wherein our intellect is formed is always very 
mysterious. In spite of so many efforts made by the immense 
departments of the science of man, we are always reduced to 
suppositions more or less well founded whenever it is a matter 
of defining the sources, development or the deviations of 
thought. The wherefore of the mind of a genius escapes us. 
We can scarcely state the reasons for the mental arrest of an 
idiot or a cretin. The science of the localisation of our 
intellectual capacities follows a difficult path and its conquests 
are far from being definite. 


In the meantime everything is subject to doubt and contra- 
dictory interpretation. Is our intellectual development in 
direct dependence on the volume of our heads? Is man the 
most intelligent among living beings because his brain presents 
the most advantageous proportion ? The general belief is 
ranged on this side and rests with pride on this advantage of 
human beings, who thereby proclaim their superiority in the 
animal scale. Yet the relation of the brain's weight to that of 
the body is not so advantageous in the case of man as is 
generally supposed. It is true that, the proportions being 
equal, the anthropoid ape shows a relationship three times less 
and a dog ten times. But take the case of a cat and a lion. 
Whereas in the cat the relation of the brain's weight to that of 
the body is 1 to 106, the same relation in the lion is 1 to 546. 1 
Must we conclude from this that the cat is five times more 
intelligent than the lion ? On the other hand, it is known that 
the smaller the animal the greater is the relationship of the 
brain's weight to that of the body. This once admitted, can it 
be deduced that small animals are relatively more intelligent 
than animals of great height ? 

In order to escape from this strange conclusion, we have seen 
physiologists like M. Charles "Richet admit the existence of a 
permanent intellectual element in relation to the varying cerebral 
mass. Dogs, whether big or little, have an equal intelligence 
notwithstanding their different cerebral mass. This ingenious 
explanation cannot be considered satisfactory. Where is the 
place of this constant mass which is designed to complete and to 
manifest this intellectual element, and what are the conditions 
of its activities ? 

It is thus that even in the case of animals we find ourselves 
limited to a number of hypotheses. Yet the facility with which 
physiologists can operate on living beings should decidedly 
simplify the problem and diminish its mysterious sides. Now 
there is only one truth which is imposed indisputably on us with 
regard to the animal world, and that is, that the weight of the 
brain corresponds in no way with the degree of intelligence. 

It is the same with men, and Broca was right in deeming it 

1 E. Dubois, Sur It Rapport du poids de Venctphale avec la grandeur du 
corps chtz let Mammiferta, Bulletin de la Societe d'Anthropologie, 1897. 



absurd to make the degree of intelligence depend on the dimen- 
sions of the head and consequently on its forms. 

But if the extent of the cerebral volume does not solve the 
question, it must not be forgotten that the weight and the con- 
formation of the skull vary and progress with instruction. The 
same rule applies to the brain as to the other organs of the 
body, which grow and develop with exercise. Now this fact 
is of great importance, although most anthropologists have for- 
gotten it, for, if this question of exercise, manifested by in- 
crease of volume, is once formulated, it will be easy to draw 
from it certain important conclusions. 

Professor Parchappe was, perhaps, the first to have the idea 
of the connection between the volume of the head and the 
work which it undergoes. After having taken a number of 
measures on the heads of men entirely devoted to the study of 
letters and science, professors and masters, placed much above 
the mediocre by their talents of writing and speaking, he con- 
trasts with them measures taken on the heads of men who from 
childhood had been exclusively engaged in manual toil, and 
whose intelligence had received no culture whatsoever. The 
circumstances of age and height being about the same, Parchappe 
found that in the case of the first the head was perceptibly 
larger, and concluded in favour of the influence of intellectual 

Following Parchappe, Professor Broca also dealt with the 
direct influence which the exercise of the mental faculties exerts 
on the volume of the head. In a memoir, published in 1873, 
he states that the systematic exercise of the mental faculties is 
favourable to their development, and that, consequently, it is 
possible to increase their power by special training. After 
having taken the attendants in the Hospital of Bicetre as basis 
for comparison, and placed them in a line with the house- 
surgeons (doctors and chemists), he arrived at results similar to 
those obtained by Parchappe. All the measures of the whole 
head are markedly in favour of the house-surgeons, men of 
education, as compared with those of the attendants whose 
intellectual culture had been neglected. 

The conclusion of Broca is formal, viz., " The house-surgeons 
have more voluminous heads. The education which they have 


received has exercised their brain and has been favourable to 
its development." This development is particularly noticeable 
in the front lobes of the brain, and to this greater develop- 
ment of the frontal region the greater part of the largening of 
their heads is due. 

Elsewhere Broca, astonished by these results, informs us that 
education not only makes man better but it makes him superior 
to himself. " It enlarges his brain and perfects its forms" To 
spread instruction, therefore, is to ameliorate the race. 

M. Lacassagne and M. Cliquet, who undertook later the task 
of verifying these observations of Broca, 1 arrived at conclusions 
clearly identical. After having operated with a simple confor- 
mateur (which hatters use to take the shape of the head) on 190 
doctors or medical men, on 133 soldiers who had received the 
elements of instruction, on 72 soldiers who could not read, and 
91 prisoners, they stated that : 

1. The head is more developed among educated people who 
have exercised their brains than among the illiterate whose in- 
tellects have remained inactive. 

2. Among educated people the frontal region is relatively 
more developed than the occipital region. 

With reference to the same subject, the activities of Professor 
Enrico Ferri, as shown in his Homicide, must be mentioned. In 
this book he compares the head-measures of students and 
soldiers, and finds that the cranial capacity is much greater 
among the former. The researches of Vitulis, Galton and Vann, 
&c., only confirm the theory maintained by Parchappe and 
developed by Broca. 

As Virchow has shown, the head must broaden with time in 
order to make room for our increasing knowledge. As the 
brachycephalic or rounded form possesses the advantage that it 
can relatively contain more cerebral mass in smaller space, the 
future belongs to the broad skulls, that is, to the brachy- 
cephalic ! Nystrom supports this theory with a curious mea- 
surement made on 500 Swedes, who are the dolichocephalic 

1 Annahs tfHygitne pullique, 1878. 

F 2 


people par excellence. Individuals intellectually but little de- 
veloped are particularly dolichocephalic. Of 100 brachy cephalic 
persons, 58 - 4 belonged to the educated classes and 41 '6 to the 
uneducated. Of 100 dolichocephalic, 76'5 were of the less 
cultured and 23'5 of the more cultured class. 

The example of Sweden is not exceptional, for the same 
phenomenon is everywhere observable. When we examine 
entire populations according to their particular countries or 
provinces, we perceive that they are ranged according to three 
chief craniological types. According to Kollmann, of 100 
modern Slavs submitted to craniological examination, 3 were 
dolichocephalic, 72 brachycephalic, and 25 mesocephalic ; of 
607 Germans, 16 per cent, were in the first category, 43 in the 
second, and 41 in the third. According to Virchow, of 100 
North Germans, 18 were dolichocephalic, 31 brachy, and 51 
mesocephalic. According to Clon Stephenos, of 100 modern 
Greeks, 15 were dolicho, 54 brachy, and 31 mesocephalic. Of 
100 Venetians (Topinard) 17 were dolicho, 45 brachy, and 38 

Deserving of notice is the fact that the same variety of 
types is found among primitive or semi-civilised peoples. Al- 
though negroes are deemed dolichocephalic, yet Topinard 
states that of 100 negro skulls, 38 were meso, and 6 brachy- 
cephalic. In the German collections of Chinese skulls, Ranke 
states that representatives of the three categories are found in 
the proportion of 12, 34, 54, &c. 

What is the influence of thought on the increase of the 
number of the brachycephalic ? It would no doubt be 
hazardous to say. But what is certain is that the skull is 
modified and varies according to circumstances. 

This fact once demonstrated, we can scarcely state its full 
bearing. It follows in the first place not only that the en- 
cephalon can be enlarged by the effort of man, but also that the 
conformation of the skull is not fixed. With the enlargement 
of the frontal lobes and of the volume of the encephalon, the 
external form of the skull also enlarges. The stigma of 
race (if it be a stigma) must therefore often give way to 
the efforts or the idleness of our intellectual life. A systematic 
exercise of the brain can thus raise the cranial level of a 


representative of inferior brains, and often give him advantages 
over the representative of privileged or hereditary virtues. 
Nothing is more natural ! Does not physiology teach us that 
every mental act involves a physiological cerebral act as an 
inevitable condition? In other words, to exercise the mind 
is to exercise the brain. 

If then the yellow or black races for example are inferior to 
us in the matter of encephalon, which has not yet been proved, 
nothing permits us to say that they will remain so everlastingly. 
To deny this would be as absurd as to maintain that the 
brain preserves its form intact notwithstanding its educational 
activity or inactivity. 

The modification of the craniological structure does not 
depend exclusively on intellectual activities. Professor Langer, 
the celebrated Austrian anatomist, has on this subject an 
hypothesis which deserves attention. According to him, the 
form of our skull depends in particular on our organs of masti- 
cation. Having made an enlarged drawing of the head of a 
new-born child, and having given it the dimensions of an adult 
head, which he places in comparison with the former, he shows 
how certain parts of the infantile head are perceptibly developed 
in detail under the influence of our masticating organs. Their 
mode of acting reacts on the skull, and Langer draws from this 
in an ingenious way its narrow or round form. Without wishing 
to subscribe to the whole of this hypothesis, which appears haz- 
ardous at first sight, we may nevertheless, without being charged 
with exaggeration, admit a partial influence which our masti- 
cating organs exercise on our craniological structure. 

Milieu also exercises a decided influence on the skull. Vir- 
chow, E. von Baer, Ranke, and many other anthropologists 
explain the brachycephalic character of the Bavarians and other 
mountaineers by the conditions of mountain life. And when we 
study the rich variety of causes which influence cranial con- 
formation, we see that skulls have intrinsically nothing fatal, 
nothing superior, nothing particularly noble. We can even 
formulate this axiom that man by his own will with the aid of 
factors placed at his own disposal can effect certain possible 
modifications in the human skull. 

But let us suppose for a moment that the cephalic index 


preserves all the essentials of a fixed character, and that it 
is transmitted by heredity across the centuries, and that we all 
have it just as it was with our ancestors of the neolithic age ! 
Even in such a case it would be difficult to draw from it other con- 
clusions than those which are drawn from a simple descriptive 
form. The cephalic index would have no more importance than 
a hand or a foot which exceeded a certain size ! 

In reality, when we study the influence which the form of the 
skull exercises on our mentality, we perceive its absolute nullity. 
The numerous authors who have not hesitated to base their 
philosophy of history as well as their systems of internal or 
international politics on the morphological differences of the 
skull, have never been able to point out to us why the brachy- 
cephalic form is incompatible with a very high mentality or 
very high morality. 

In default of positive arguments which the adherents of this 
theory are very careful not to give us, we possess numerous 
negative proofs to the contrary. Brachycephalism never pre- 
vented Kant, Laplace or Voltaire from taking their place among 
the intellectual leaders of humanity. On the other hand, it has 
never been possible to show any correlation whatsoever between 
the value, extent or profundity of our thoughts and the crani- 
ological formation of the individual. In vain are we told of the 
dimensions of the skull, less (!) in the case of the brachy- 
cephalic. It is true that the skull is in this case less long, but 
is not this dimension royally compensated by the increase of 
breadth ? The dolichocephalic thus gain in length what they 
lose in breadth ! We have consequently before us a law of 
compensation which restores equilibrium if this last is really 
in danger. 

In order to see of what little importance is the accentuation 
of the skull's length or breadth, it is sufficient to consider 
certain injuries to the brain and to examine their counter-effect 
on our mental faculties. Now it is incontestable even at a 
glance that it would be difficult to ascribe to the simple des- 
criptive characteristics of the skull the importance which 
pertains to its alterations. Let us recall certain significant 
cases. Robert Hugues notes that of a man where a fragment 
of iron weighing one ounce had lodged for more than a year in 


the middle of an abscess in the front right lobe of the brain. 
Dr. Simon quotes the case of a woman of seventy-nine years 
where an autopsy revealed a needle in the left lobe which had 
penetrated entirely, and which penetration dated from early 
infancy, the woman having never shown any cerebral acci- 
dent sufficient to attract attention. Myxoma and gliomata have 
been observed to attain the size of the fist before producing 
any appreciable symptoms. Hasse relates the fact of a fracture 
of the skull resulting in a bone splinter remaining in the brain 
throughout twenty-six years with impunity. Broca speaks 
of a cyst which, after attaining the size of a pigeon's egg, was 
found to have been for years in the back part of the left hemi- 
sphere without occasioning the least trouble of sensibility, of 
intelligence or of movement. Malinverni dwells on the case of 
an individual where the hard substance did not exist, the 
hemispheres being separated one from the other and the crested 
circumvolution altogether lacking. This man, however, appeared 
throughout his life to enjoy the use of his intellectual faculties 
to the full. 

But let us pass on to craniological formation. 

The brain, so specialists tell us, can undergo in its general 
form even abnormal variations without its functions appear- 
ing to be in any way affected thereby. Cerebral development 
can even experience with impunity a certain check as long 
as it succeeds in overcoming it, as we see in the case of the 
artificial deformation of the skull by partial pressure or in the 
case of pathological deformations caused by the premature 
synosteosis of a suture. 

As for dolicho and brachyeephalism, both are due to a cause 
which has nothing to do with cerebral development. In taking 
our stand on the present state of science, we can affirm with 
Manouvrier " that there are not in the whole of the human 
body morphological variations which are more insignificant 

It is enough to remember what has been said above in order 
to perceive the regrettable error of which the apologists or the 
traducers of long or wide skulls are the victims. This error 
once rectified, what remains to the upholders of the organic 
inequality of human races ? 



The skull has also been dealt with in order to arrive at 
distinctions of another nature. For this purpose savants have 
undertaken to measure its capacity. But what room for error 
there is here ! To obtain positive indications of cranial capacity 
they have thought it necessary to proceed to gauging and then 
to cubature. 

These two different operations, it goes without saying, give 
results which are often very contradictory. By gauging we 
obtain the cranial contents, if one can thus express oneself, and 
by cubature its volume. In the first case the cranial cavity is 
filled with some substance afterwards weighed, and this weight 
gives the measure sought for. But what substance must one 
use ? Some use liquids and others solids. Water, sand, mercury, 
grains of glass, gun-shot, pearl barley, grains of white mustard, 
different kinds of vegetables such as haricot beans, peas, &c., have 
all been used and have produced numerous results of comparisons 
and errors. One might here repeat this tragical exclamation of 
Pascal : " Nothing shows us truth, everything deceives us ! 
The senses deceive the reason with false appearances and this 
same deception which they bring is returned to them again by 
the reason ; she ever takes her revenge." The diverse substances 
in the first place adhere to the sides of the skull in diverse ways. 
They arrange themselves in a different manner. Some leave 
too much space between themselves and others too little ! 

But now that the skull is filled we must proceed to the 
measuring. Here again the variety of methods produces the 
most contradictory results. Among the well-known anthropolo- 
gists each drinks in his own little glass and uses his own method. 
Thus all reach different solutions, each being persuaded of the 
excellence of his own system and the defects of that of his neigh- 
bours. It is enough, however, to compare the results obtained by 
certain contrary methods in order to make clear the error of their 
starting point and the nullity of their conclusions with regard 
to the theory with which we are concerned. Broca, moreover, 
foresaw the danger which threatened the anthropologists in this 


matter and gave them good advice not to trust themselves 
too much to their fine conquests in the domain of cranial 
capacity. 1 

Let us take the works of Broct, and many other anthro- 
pologists and try to compare their several estimates. If the 
Auvergnats, with their cranial capacity of 1598 ec , are at the 
head of humanity, the poor Parisians, who are contemporaries 
of Broca, only follow the Lower Bretons. The Corsicans, whom 
we shall see to be so privileged in the matter of prognathism, 
approximate to the Chinese and Esquimaux. 

According to the cubatures of Morton, the Negroes of Africa 
and Oceania are much superior to the Americans. The 
Maoris, who, when civilised, show themselves to be very intelli- 
gent and provoke the admiration of the Anglo-Saxons of 
Australasia, are equal (according to Barnard Davis) to the 
Negroes of Dahomey, the Kanakas, and the natives of the 
Marquesas Islands. 


The weight of the brain has provoked no end of enthusiasm 
among believers in the inequality of human beings. In the 
presence of the fact that there are brains exceeding 1,800 
grams, as compared with others which do not attain 900, they 
have not been able to repress a cry of triumph. Nevertheless 
this basis of comparison is still more fragile than the many 
others enumerated above. 

Let us not forget that the weight of the brain depends 
directly on the size of the organism. Without being propor- 
tional, this augmentation is a palpable and indisputable fact. 
Men of great height generally have a weightier encephalon. 
On the other hand, the weight depends on the age of the 
subject and on its sex. In the man (according to Boyde's 
calculations) the weight of the encephalon represents at the 
age of three months a fifth of the weight of the whole body ; 
a tenth at the age of five years and a half; a fifteenth at seven 
years ; a twenty-second at seventeen years ; and a thirty-third 
in the full-grown man. 

1 Broca, Mtmoires de laSocittt cf Anthropologie, Vol. II., 2 nd series : Capacity 
du crdnt. 


As we get older the weight of the encephalon diminishes 
perceptibly. From the forty-fifth year the brain begins to 
grow smaller, and at ninety has lost as much as 120 grams 
in man and less than 90 in woman (calculations of Broca, 
Topinard, &c.). The weight of the encephalon also in- 
creases with use and diminishes in default of all intellectual 

The manner of weighing brains has also its importance. It 
is necessary to proceed with this operation directly after the 
decease of the individual, for it is known that even when kept 
in alcohol the encephalon loses part of its weight. On the other 
hand, there is no means of fixing differences of weight of the 
encephalon according to races, since this same weight varies 
in great proportions among the adults not only of a race but 
of a country, a town, and even of the same village. Among 519 
European men, from twenty-five to fifty-five years old, and 
belonging to the least-favoured classes, the normal variations 
were in round numbers from 1,025 to 1,675 grams. 1 

In comparing the weights of the encephalons it is necessary 
in order to make the experiment conclusive to use infinite 
precaution. None of the theories based on this factor can 
resist the least criticism from this point of view. 

The works of Wagner, Bischof, Broca, Manouvrier, and many 
others, have demonstrated in a way which allows of no doubt 
that intelligence influences the augmentation of the weight of 
the brain. According to the researches made by a learned 
Czeck, M. Matiegka (quoted by M. I. Deniker 2 ), the weights of 
the brain vary according to the occupations. It shows on an 
average 1,500 grams in students, officials, doctors, &c., and 
descends to 1,410 among labourers. 

The weight also depends on the height. According to F. 
Marchand, the weight augments with the height in both sexes 
and all ages. According to his calculations there is a propor- 
tion of 7'7 to 8'8 grams of brain in a man and 7'6 to 8 grams 
in a woman for each centimetre of height. 

Even in admitting considerable differences in the weight of 
the encephalon among different races, we would only state the 

1 UHomme. dan la Nature. 

* A.nn6e phyaiologique, by A. Binet, 1904. 


well-known fact that these differ according to culture and 
height. But does this mean that they would be unable to 
exceed the scale attributed to them ? 

Immediately we admit the possibility of the evolution of the 
brain under the influence of occupation, craniological differentia- 
tion loses its force. The truth is that the skull and the brain 
furnish no arguments in favour of organic inequality. 



I. Prognathism 

IT is the same with what concerns the other craniological 
elements. As science progresses, its basis of operation becomes 
wider. It is no longer concerned with cephalic indices and 
other traits of similar significance. 

Persuaded that there is a correlation between the different 
parts of our skull, science desires to consider them one and all. 
Before the imposing wealth of the combinations of so many 
organic varieties, it is seen how difficult, nay, rather unjust, it 
becomes to classify human beings according to one or more 
traits taken haphazard. The supreme economy of nature 
makes these hasty methods all the more disputable inasmuch 
as she holds in reserve a thousand means to put observation off 
its guard. With the exception of those organically diseased, 
normal humanity is with difficulty divided into clearly marked 
categories. If it is desired, without taking one's stand on the 
simple form of the skull, to perceive in it some intellectual 
capacity or predestination, a series of corollaries must be 
immediately introduced which break down this brutal division 
and disclose its inanity. 

Let us stop before another characteristic trait, viz., prognathism, 
which has also been adopted by many anthropologists as a 
means of classifying human beings. It is known that this 
division of heads, with or without prognathism, ought, in the 
eyes of its authors, to correspond with a nobleness or baseness 
of origin, with a superior intellectuality, or one which is limited 
for evermore. For prognathism, like brachycephalism, is an 


hereditary stain and serves as a distinction between the privileged 
races and pariahs. 

Prognathism, as we know, is the protuberance of the face in 
front of the brain, in the horizontal position of the skull. This 
slight inclination of the facial profile can only be measured at 
first with much difficulty. On the other hand, it has scarcely 
any relation with the development of the brain. Prognathism 
presents a whole series of variations, beginning with that which 
is limited to the nasal region such as is met with so often in 
Jews, and to the modifications which include the super and sub- 
nasal regions. Therefore, those who consider prognathism as 
signifying lack of intelligence, or simply inferiority of mind, 
allow too much to the Jews, who are " prognathic." 

Moreover, all the classical types which are placed before us as 
models of plastic beauty and moral character are abundantly 
endowed with it. We elsewhere meet with the so much 
dreaded prognathism among royal families like the Bourbons, 
who ought exactly to combine nobility of birth and superiority 
of origin. 

The wider observation of prognathism discovers it under 
all latitudes and among all peoples. Certain of its most 
accentuated forms are merely to be found in immediate 
correspondence with stature. 

But if all anthropologists insist much on prognathism, they 
are rarely in agreement as to its significance. According to 
current opinion, it is only a matter of the elongation and 
projection of the jaws (Prichard). But the prior question is 
to be found elsewhere. This particular formation of the jaws 
naturally varies according to the angle in which we place our- 
selves to observe it. This variety in the results of our observation 
raises another question, namely, that of a fixed and uniform 
measurement which can give authority to comparisons, and 
to the conclusions to be drawn from them. 

Consequently we find ourselves before a veritable forest of 
definitions of prognathism and before a thousand and one 
methods of measurement. What must we include in the 
definition of a jaw ? What part of the face must enter into 
its category and contribute thereby to the results of com- 
parison ? According to some, one must stop at the nostrils 


and cut off everything below them. Others only speak of the 
prognathism of the face, that is, above the nostrils. Whereas 
for certain anthropologists it is only a matter of the upper face, 
their opponents only include the lower jaw. To some the 
dental system is of chief importance, whereas others attach no 
importance to it. Methods of measurement are also most 
contradictory. According to Virchow, it is enough to measure 
the two lines from the basion, one going to the nasal point 
and the other to the subnasal. We have again a series of 
diverse angles which have been popularised by Camper, 
Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Cuvier, Vogt, Welcker, &c., each of 
whom ought to present us with the answer to the 
riddle. We have lastly the method advocated by Broca, 
Topinard, &c. 

It is enough to indicate this divergence of views and methods 
in order to understand the difficulty of piloting oneself through 
this labyrinth of definitions and of contradictory conclusions. 
Therefore, while doing justice to the efforts made by 
anthropologists of all schools to use prognathism as an element 
for the appreciation and comparison of races, it is difficult to 
attribute to their successes any importance whatever. Even 
admitting the absolute exactness of a method chosen anyhow 
and subscribing beforehand both to the method of measurement 
and to the results obtained, what useful conclusion can be drawn 
from it ? 

Let us take for example the method adopted by Virchow, and 
let us pause a moment before his conclusions. We must in the 
first place conclude that inasmuch as the French, Chinese, 
Tartars, Lapps, Malays of the Moluccas, Gipsies, Kalmucks and 
Jews have all the same coefficient, 91, they must all be in the 
same boat. We must then rank the ancient Romans 
(fortunately it is only a matter of five skulls which were at 
Virchow's disposal) with their coefficient 98 behind the Kaffirs 
(97), and even lower than the Cossacks or the Malays of 
Sumatra (96). Here among others is a small conclusion which 
is separated from his bundle of measurements, viz., 30 Germans, 
20 Japanese and twelve Russians are found in this respect to 
be all on the same level, i.e. 94. 

According to Topinard, true prognathism is only prognathism 


"alveolo sous-nasal" It is this sub-nasal region which alone 
must be taken into account when it is desired to discover 
the origin of a skull. It alone furnishes the differential charac- 
teristics among human races. Nevertheless this vaunted criterion 
is shown to be absolutely inefficient when we desire on its data 
to arrive at a graduated classification of races. Its adepts pro- 
claim, it is true, that alt human beings are prognathic, and that 
the difference is only one of degree. Thus the European races 
are such in a slight degree, the Yellow and Polynesian races 
much more so, and the negro races still more so. 

But leaving on one side the measurements obtained on other 
skulls, let us turn towards Europe and compare the results 
obtained. According to Topinard, the most favoured in this 
respect are the Corsicans (81 '28). The next to them are the 
Gauls (?), then 14 skulls from the Cavern of the Dead Man, only 
then the Parisians (781 3), followed by the Toulousians, Auverg- 
nians, Merovingians, Finns, Tasmanians, &c. The Chinese are 
discovered to be on the same level as the Eskimos, &c., &c. 

At the head of humanity are the Guanches, superior even to 
the Corsicans ! Another statement which appears no less ex- 
travagant is that the least prognathic in Europe were the 
inventors of the polished stone ! 

The progress and the intellectual efforts of so many genera- 
tions would only tend in consequence to diminish our superiority 
acquired in the Stone Age, and to lead us back to a sort of fatal 

It is enough to put forward this strange conclusion in order 
to see the scaffolding of figures prepared with so much care by 
the professors of prognathism fall in pieces. It is true that they 
could reply that craniometry has nothing to do with the task of 
graduating human beings ! Bravo ! For in that case we could 
easily agree on the importance of this series of measurements 
which have only a purely descriptive value. Inasmuch as its 
relative data do not allow us to classify human beings according 
to an illusory canon, this method loses in that way the extrava- 
gant character which they wish to assign to it. 


II. The Form of the Face and the Theory of Angles 

The head with the variations displayed by its different parts 
has given rise to the creation of numerous distinctions between 
human beings. They depend principally on the conformation 
of the skull and face. 

Their structure may be similar and harmonious in the same 
way as they may individually display particular tendencies 
The face, for example, may be elongated and the skull too, as in 
the case of Negroes, or both may be wide, as with the majority 
of the Yellow races. 

We see in general a kind of harmony between the skull and 
the face, the latter being really only a part of the skull. This 
last is divided into two parts, the skull properly so called, 
which is the receptacle of the brain, and the face, which 
includes the chief organs of the senses and mastication. When 
we compare man with animals with reference to the whole 
skull, we perceive this chief difference which distinguishes 
them. The position of the human skull above the face, and 
also its volume, appears altogether to distinguish it from the 
animal skull, which is placed further back and possesses other 
peculiar traits. 

Nothing, then, is more easy and attractive than the tempta- 
tion to divide, under this heading, men and animals in general 
and men and monkeys in particular. Is it the same with the 
distinction between human beings ? 

We have under this heading numerous attempts to find in 
the form of the face a solid foundation for ethnical divisions. 
Above all, let us note the facial angle of Camper. In his 
Dissertation sur les differences ridhs que presentent les traits du 
visage chez I'homme de difftrents pays et de differents dges (Paris, 
1791), Pierre Camper teaches us that the facial angle (facial 
line or characteristic line of the face) varies from 70 to 
80 in the human species. " Every thing which is above 
this comes under the rules of art, whilst everything which 
is below this resembles monkeys. If I raise the facial 
line forward, I have a classical head ; if I make it 
lean backwards, I have the head of a negro." A no small 
consolation for the Negroes is that this line must be more 

inclined to have the head of a monkey, and still more so to have 
that of a dog. It is necessary afterwards to make a great 
effort of inclination to have that of a woodcock. 1 According to 
Camper, his angle allows us to distinguish in a very precise 
way the masterpieces of Greek art from those of the Romans. 
For while the facial angle, measured according to his method, 
gives 100 to the former,' it gives only 95 to the latter. 

Applied to the different races his measure in no way allows 
us to divide human beings into superior and inferior. The 
reason for it is very simple, viz., that individual differences 
leave far behind those between whites (85), yellows (80), or 
blacks (75), as Camper formulates them. This fact comes out 
particularly in the subsequent refinements brought to the 
measurement of Camper's facial angle by Cloquet, Jacquart, 
Cuvier, or G. Saint-Hilaire. The difference of 5 which should 
separate human races, according to Camper, is increased to 10 by 
Jacquart among white representatives in the city of Paris alone. 

In addition to the facial angle, anthropometry offers us a 
quantity of others due to the ingenuity of savants of all lands. 

Let us note some as they come to our mind : the sphenoidal 
angle of Welcker; the cranio-facial angle of Huxley and of 
Ecker ; the parietal angle of Quatrefages, the angle of Barclay, 
the metafacial angle of Serres, the angle of the condyles, the 
naso-basal angle of Virchow and Welcker, &c., &c. However 
curious the results obtained by this numerous series of measure- 
ments may be, they all resemble one another from that special 
point of view which for our present purpose is foremost. They 
do not allow us " to seriate " humanity into superior and 
inferior races. And if they fail to establish irreducible differ- 
ences between races, they only end in securing the triumph of 
the theory of individual differences which divide human beings. 

The attempt has also been made to determine the breadth, 
length, and thickness of the face, with the aid of divers methods 
which consequently vary frequently according to those who 

1 The angle of Camper is formed by two lines, one horizontal from the 
auditive canal to the root of the nose, the other tangent, called facial, from 
the forehead to the nasal bone. In other words, one of the lines is from the 
auditive aperture to the lower edge of the nostrils, and the other is to the 
most salient points of the face, the top of the forehead and the anterior face 
of the two lower incisives. 


apply them. Without wishing to study their technical side, 
which would demand a special volume, we shall confine our- 
selves to dealing with certain results obtained within the limits 
of a particular method. It is thus that, according to Broca, the 
Parisians, with their facial index of b'5'9, hold the mean 
between the New Caledonian Islanders, 66'2, and the 
Australians, 65'6. The Negroes, with their index of 68'6, 
are next to the Bretons (68 5), and the Auvergnats (67'9), 
&c. If we begin with the total length of the face and its 
bi-zygomatic breadth, as maintained by Pruner-Bey, the Scandi- 
navians, with their 129 millimetres of length and 132 of 
breadth, are found between the Chinese (134 and 137) and the 
Germans of the South (127 in length and 131 in breadth). 
The New Caledonian Islanders and the Negroes approach the 
Germans, &c. 

On the contrary, in having recourse to the naso-basilar line of 
H. Welcker, we shall find that this has the same length of 102 
millimetres among the French and the Malays of Sumatra, as it 
has of 100 millimetres among the Chinese, Germans, Russians, 
Cossacks, Mexicans, and Tartars; 99 among Hungarians, 
Hottentots, and Gipsies; and that the Eskimos approximate 
to the Kaffirs, and the Papuans to the Jews ! We have in fact 
before us one of those incongruous mixtures which prevents our 
arriving at any conclusion. If the naso-basal angle of Welcker 
and Virchow were taken as point of comparison, or the naso- 
basilar line compared with the skull's antero-posterior circum- 
ference of the two same savants, we should arrive at conclusions 
still more eccentric. From the point of view of the first 
measure, the French occupy the mean (651) between the 
Turks (64'3) and the Kalmucks (65'8), and are then followed by 
the Chinese (65'9), who precede the Germans (66'2), who in their 
turn precede the Eskimos, the Hottentots and the Negroes. 

With regard to the second measure, the French with their 
398 millimetres occupy the mean between the Negroes (402) 
and the Australians (395), whereas the Germans (404) are 
between the Chinese (407) and the Kalmucks (403) ! ! ! 

The orbital index, popularised by Broca, 1 enjoyed and still 
continues to enjoy a certain success. It is concerned with the 
1 Sur Flndice orbitaire, Rev. d'Anthrop. 1879. 


measure which is obtained in the following manner. After having 
measured the vertical diameter of the orbit, the result obtained is 
multiplied by 100 and is afterwards divided by the horizon- 
tal diameter. From this standpoint Broca divided humanity 
into three races according to the size of the index thus obtained, 
viz. the Mttgasdmes, whose average index is 89 and over ; the 
Mdsos&mes, 83 to 89 ; and the Microsbmes, below 83. But when 
we pass from these general classes to their concrete application, 
we perceive here also as elsewhere that nature has not willed to 
establish privileged human races. The figures of the orbital 
index are displaced in a capricious way, and bring together 
peoples and races separated in our eyes by great gulfs. The 
Indians of North America elbow the people of Java and the 
Indo-Chinese; the Auvergnats the Negroes of Africa; the 
Parisians tread arm-in-arm with Negroes and Hottentots, &c. 

Broca himself produces abundant proofs that the differences 
between individuals of the same race are greater than those 
which he had established between his three classes. We have 
seen that these are divided by a mean of 6 units, but Broca has 
found 108'33 in the case of a Chinese woman, 105 in an 
Indian Redskin, 100 in a Parisian woman and in a woman of 
Auvergne, &c. On the other hand, as we perceive, the same 
series includes whites, blacks or yellows, civilised and backward 
peoples, the brachycephalic and the dolichocephalic. Let us 
add, however, that the learned anthropologist, after comparing 
the orbital index in the case of men and monkeys, gave up the 
idea of finding in it any grounds for the graduation of human 
beings. In effect, if the quadrumana regarded from the 
standpoint of the orbital index can be also divided into me'ga- 
me'so-, and microsemes, the same index will reunite under the 
same measure the higher anthropomorphous beings with types 
which are as low in the scale as the lemurs. 

Certain indications also have been attempted to be drawn 
from the comparison of the upper and lower jaws among 
different races; but, all things considered, it has only been 
possible to assign to them a purely descriptive value. The 
variations among individuals exceed in the same way in this 
particular those which it has been desired to establish among 
human varieties. On the other hand, the variety of forms 

G 2 


which the jaws assume, as well as the diversity of their relation- 
ship, make all generalisation difficult. We shall not leave the 
human face without dwelling on the measurements of the nose 
and ears, so important for descriptive anthropology. 

III. The Nose 

Its principal form as well as its numerous variations have 
been much studied, and the results of these studies have served 
for much disputed generalisations. 

Broca, starting from the relation of the maximum width of 
the nose to its total height, has gone so far as to attempt to 
divide humanity into three different sections; the men with 
long and narrow nose, the leptorhinnians, corresponding to the 
white race ; the platyrrkinians, with wide and low nose, a 
characteristic peculiar to the black races; and lastly the 
*nesorrhinians, comprising the yellow races. 

This indeed is the most important statement made under 
the nasal heading. The measures of Broca have been taken 
on 1,200 human heads belonging to diverse races. This is his 
way of proceeding. After having multiplied by 100 the width 
of the nose taken at the opening of the nasal chambers, he 
compared it with the length between the spine and the naso- 
frontal articulation. The result is what he calls the nasal index. 
The mean of the nasal index is 50'00, but it varies according to 
races from 42*33 (Eskimos) to 58'38 (Houzouanas). Let us note, 
however, that t.he Eskimos enter into Broca's series of Whites ; 
and the allophylian Whites, the Finns, the Esthonians and 
also the Papuans, into the mesorrhinians. On the other hand, 
the individual differences here also are much greater than those 
which separate human races. What is more essential is that 
Broca does not state the age of his examples. The nasal index, 
however, varies with years, according to his own estimates, 
being 76'80 in the embryo ; 6218 in the developed foetus ; and 
50'20 in a child of six. 

The anthropologists who afterwards adopted different methods 
of measuring, naturally discovered considerable discrepancies 
among human races. Let us state that in general measure- 


ments are not made in a strictly exact way. With the lack of 
unity in the methods, an infinite variety of starting points 
accosts us. The results of all these investigations remain 
inconclusive. Everything which we know on this subject is 
reduced to visual impressions. We see that noses are often 
developed among white people in a prominent way, whereas 
they are flat and wide among the Blacks and Yellows. 
Topinard points out a number of considerations which it 
would be necessary to introduce into nasal measurements in 
order to arrive at serious results. Above all, the maximum 
height (transversal index), which is measured vertically from 
the root of the nose to its base, by means of a compass with 
a slide, ought to be insisted on ; also the width of the nose 
(antero-posterior index) from the points furthest removed from 
the wings of the nose ; the nasal prominence, which goes from 
its point to the sub-nasal point, &c., &c. 

The base, nostrils and ridge of the nose are also very 
important. Thus for the ridge, the angle of its inclination, its 
rectilineal direction bent or bumped, convex (aquiline variety), 
concave (turned up), its form, roofed, rounded or flat ; for the 
nostrils, their form, elliptic, special or rounded, their plan, 
&c. ; the direction of their axis, antero-posterior, oblique or 
transversal, &c., &c. all these are so many elements which 
cannot be neglected as principles of comparison. The multi- 
plicity of all these data, of which each has its characteristic 
value, makes their application difficult, and the nose as a 
typical trait of comparative humanity still awaits a patient, 
exact and persevering savant who would be willing, perhaps 
at the expense of a lifetime, to consecrate to it a special 

In the meantime we have monographs on details which tell 
us the differences in the nasal, transversal, antero-posterior 
index, &c. Let us not forget that all these operations still 
leave much to be desired, especially in what concerns the 
insufficient number of individuals who are representatives of 
races or of human varieties. Thus Topinard invented his nasal 
transversal index after having utilised for his measurements one 
Papuan, one Australian and a Cochin Chinese bust, &c. E. de 
Me"rejkovsky, after having studied the ridge of the nose on 


a number of human skulls, arrived at the conclusion that it is 
much flatter among primitive peoples than among civilised. His 
index comprises the height of the nose from its root in a straight 
line to the angle of its inclination. The Polynesians in this 
case follow the Whites ; then the Americans, the Melanesians, 
the Mongols, the Malays and the Negroes. 

Topinard also distinguishes (a) the depth of the hollow of 
the root, which is considerable among the Melanesians, some- 
what marked among the majority of Europeans, and faintly 
so among the Mongols, Arabs, and in the ancient Greek type 
(Venus de Milo) ; (b) the flat and crushed noses, peculiar to 
Chinese, Malays, Negroes, &c. ; (c) the particular arch of the 
nose as broken and bent (among the Bourbons), more general 
among the Americans, and which takes an aquiline form 
peculiar to the Jews, the ancient Assyrians, and to the Arabs, 
with numerous subdivisions, &c. 

In short, the nose furnishes a descriptive character which 
is rather interesting. But the insufficiency of its measure- 
ments and the defective methods do not allow us to found on 
their diversity a racial division among human beings. Similarly 
we must not forget that nasal morphology depends in par- 
ticular on the configuration of the face and skull. In virtue of 
the law of the co-ordination of traits, it must be admitted that 
with the evolution of the skull the structure of the nose also 

IV. The Ear 

It has also been attempted to deduce from the structure of 
the ear certain characteristic indications for the differentiation 
of races, but all these attempts have proved fruitless. Certain 
French anthropologists, it is true, teach us that the lobules of 
the ears are lacking in the ears of certain Kabyles in the 
province of Constantine, but they are forced to admit that the 
same phenomenon frequently appears amongst and near our- 
selves. The same applies to the oval or pretended " square " 
form of the Negroes. G. Fritsch, who made a particular study 
of the Bushmen, states that their ears have the same configura- 
tion as that of the Europeans, whereas Langer tells us the same 
thing of the Negroes. 


The ears vary to infinitude in individuals but not in races. 
Their variations are even so characteristic that they may 
serve to identify individuals like finger-marks. It has been 
thought for a long time that the ears are placed higher up 
among certain tribes, which opinion is certainly well founded. 
The Copts and the ancient mummies of Egypt (Ebers, 
Bureau de la Malle) have been noticed in particular as distin- 
guished for this odd position of the ears. But more exact 
measurements have deprived this legend of all credence. 
People wished to perceive in it a monkey characteristic (this 
phenomenon really exists among the gorillas), but this opinion 
had to be given up. Czermack, Langer, and Norton, to speak 
of these only, found that the famous ears of the mummies, as 
those of the Copts, are fixed on the head at the same height as 
among the Whites. What has justified this erroneous opinion 
is the conventional art of the Egyptians, who deemed this type 
of ear a sign of comeliness, for which reason they lavished them 
on nearly all their monuments. 

People have also wished us to believe in a superior acuteness 
of hearing on the part of primitive or savage peoples, but 
according to numbers of works on this subject, we must de- 
cidedly renounce this distinction, which nothing justifies. Let 
us remember among others the experiments of Myers. He 
made use of a clock giving five strokes to the second, which 
could be as easily stopped as set going. His examples were 
thirty-five in number, of whom seven were little girls, twelve 
boys, and sixteen adults, all natives of Murray Island. This 
experiment, made with the aid of the members of the expedi- 
tion organised by the University of Cambridge to the Torres 
Straits, has confirmed this fact, that in general the hearing 
acuteness of the natives submitted to observation was some- 
what inferior to that of Europeans. According to Myers, the 
savages, when accustomed to distinguish the fixed series of 
sounds, were on the watch for them, and in this way found it 
easy to distinguish them more readily. 


A conclusion forces itself on us when we compare the results 
obtained by the measurement of all the parts of the head. It 
is that the skull, which is subject to variations, leaves an 
impression during its evolution on the face which is only its 
complement. Consequently, inasmuch as we no longer see 
about us any races which are clearly defined from a cranio- 
logical point of view, it is impossible that there can be any 
such races from the point of view of the other measurements 
taken from the component parts of the head. The differences 
among individuals belonging to the same human variety are 
thus always greater than those perceived among races regarded 
as distinct units in themselves. 

The mixed type constitutes the salient characteristic of 
modern humanity, especially that of Europe. We shall see 
later on that this, being the result of a cross-breeding of nearly 
all the other races, must have with these many traits in 
common. This is particularly noticeable in the case of crauio- 
logical variations. 

The European population presents a mixture of dolicho-, 
brachy-, and mesocephalic peoples. What is still more 
important is that all these types are dispersed throughout 
the same countries, the same districts, and the same families. 
They are not seen, however, in their pure state. Men with 
narrow skulls have wide faces ; those with round skulls have 
narrow faces ; whilst between these two mixed types float the 
" impure " to a degree still more surprising, for they reunite 
numbers of traits which are really the prerogative of the dolicho- 
or brachycephalic divisions. Ranke has tried to group in 
clearly defined categories this mutual interpenetration of types 
and traits. The following are some of his divisions : (a) short 
heads with long faces (dolichoprosope Brachykephaleri) ; (fe) 
long heads with short faces (brachyprosope dolichokephaleri) ; (c) 
long heads with long faces (dolichoprosope dolichokephalen) ; (d) 
medium heads with long faces (dolichoprosope mesokephalen) ; 
(e) short heads with short faces (brachyprosope brachykephalen) ; 
and (/) medium heads with short faces (brachyprosope meso- 


kephalen). Very naturally each of these sections is divided 
into sub-sections. Besides, the number of these categories 
could be multiplied to infinity. The essential thing is that 
these, reunited, should give us a gentle and imperceptible 
gradation which would result in a general craniological type. 
F. Kollmann tells us with reason that all the skulls of the 
inhabitants of Europe approximate so much to one another that 
one might speak of an European skull. If we say European, 
it is only a way of speaking. It is the civilised skull with 
which we are concerned, which is distinct from the skull of 
non-civilised and primitive peoples living outside civilisation 
and deprived of that cerebral exercise which civilisation 
imposes. Do not let us forget, however, that this distinction 
is not irreducible, for the savages of yesterday can easily 
become the civilised of to-morrow. They will profit in this 
quality of craniological evolution which accompanies the 
systematic and regular life of the intellect. 



I. The Height 

HEIGHT is considered a sign of race in the case of animals, 
but can the same standard be applied in the case of man ? 

We are aware that men vary in stature not only in different 
countries, but also in the bosom of the same family. 

On the other hand, with rare exceptions (e.g. the Pygmies), 
human varieties show a kind of mean height which may be 
estimated at 1m. 630. Above and below this, different agglo- 
merations are situated, where the height increases or decreases 
according to the milieu. As we shall see later on, in studying 
its influence on the organism in general, the height is per- 
ceptibly modified by the action of comfort and nutrition. 
Anthropology has not succeeded in dividing humanity on the 
ground of stature, and it can only offer us data of purely 
descriptive value. Its information is, moreover, confounded 
with that of hygiene and medical therapeutics, which supply us 
with certain recipes to gain physical vigour and health. 

It teaches us that stature varies according to the health and 
the nourishment of peoples and individuals, that it will be 
greater in rich countries and in those where physical exercise 
and sports are cultivated with most ardour ; that it often 
diminishes with the altitude, and that the female sex shews 
less height than the male. Nevertheless, the way of living 
and the physical exercises often succeed in neutralising the 
influence of sex. We notice, for example, that in the families of 
American multi-millionaires women begin to display a height 
sometimes equal to that of men, and sometimes even superior to it. 

This phenomenon is attributed to the special mode of life 
lived by young girls in the United States, who, exonerated 
from the occupations to which young men must apply them- 
selves, live in the open air and spend their youth in playing 
lawn tennis and football. 

The height varies according to age, and only attains its 
maximum towards the thirtieth year. According to Quetelet, man 
is 50 centimetres at the time of his birth ; about 1 metre at five 
years, 1m. 50 at fifteen, and at nineteen he lacks about 15 centi- 
metres of his height which he gains in the eleven succeeding years. 

Consequently, everything which produces a harmful effect on 
our health during the time of our growth reacts on the height. 
It is thus that children engaged from their tender age in 
mines and factories lose height and never attain their normal 

It has been said, on the other hand, that nations, regarded as 
a whole, succeed under the influence of favourable conditions 
in augmenting their mean height. Let us add, moreover, that 
civilized humanity, far from being smaller, has, on the contrary, 
gained some centimetres in the course of centuries. According 
to palseontological data, modern man is of greater height than the 
man of neolithic times. 

Has man degenerated in the course of ages, and from being a 
giant in prehistoric times, decreased to mediocre height in our 
day ? Mythologies and religious books teach it. Poets have 
sung it, and the people believe it. 

The Bible speaks in several places of peoples of giants. The 
spies of Moses find them in the Promised Land, and the prophet 
Amos compares them with the oaks for strength, and with the 
cedars for height. According to Deuteronomy, Og, King of 
Bashan, was greater than Goliath, to whom the Book of Samuel 
attributes a height of over nine feet. 

Homer and Hesiod lament the diminished height of their 
time as compared with that of illustrious ancestors. According 
to Plutarch, his contemporaries could only be compared with 
the new-born children of the ancients. The learned Pliny, in 
order to confirm all these beliefs, even speaks of human skeletons 
discovered in Crete the length of which attained 20 metres. 

The epics of modern peoples are likewise influenced by this 


belief, which is so deeply rooted in the popular conscience. The 
science of our great-grandfathers often tried to uphold this article 
of faith which was imbibed with their mothers' milk. We 
recall the curious theory of Henrion, who, in the beginning 
of the 18th century, offered to public credulity an exact 
plan of the lowering of the height since the time of Father 
Adam. The height of the latter, which was 18 metres, fell 
gradually to 9 metres in the case of Abraham, 3 metres in that 
of Hercules, and 2 metres in Alexander the Great. 

Modern science, more exact and enlightened, has demonstrated 
how ill founded all these superstitions are. In submitting to 
exact measurements the human bones of the Quaternary epoch, 
it has succeeded in proving that human height has undergone 
no variations since the hundreds of thousands of years during 
which man has inhabited our planet. According to the 
measurements of M. Manouvrier and M. Rehon, 1 the man of 
Neanderthal (Quaternary Epoch) was only 1m. 613; the 
man of Spy, 1m. 610; the crushed man of Langeria, 1m. 669; 
the troglodyte of Chancelade, 1m. 612. This estimate, drawn 
from 429 male bones and 189 female, dating from the neo- 
lithic period, gives us the mean height of 1m. 475 for women 
and 1m. 525 for men ! 

When these prehistoric heights are compared with those of 
moderns, we perceive that the latter, far from being diminished, 
have rather increased during the course of centuries. The 
French, whom anthropologists class among the small heights, 
are shown to be in this respect superior to their gigantic 

It would be useless to dwell on the differences between 
centuries nearer to us and the modern age. What thousands 
of centuries have been impotent to accomplish, a few hundred 
years can still less do. The evidence furnished on this subject 
by M. Rehon demonstrates, however, in a concise manner that the 
height of Parisians has not varied during a dozen centuries. In the 
measurement and comparison of human bones discovered in the 
cemetery of Saint-Marcel (5th cent.) with those of the cemetery 

1 Let us remark at this point that, owing to the ingenious method discovered 
and applied by M. Manouvrier, we can easily reconstruct the height of the 
human body from certain of its parts. 


of Saint-Germain-des-Pre's (llth cent.), he has declared the 
mean height of 1m. 677 for men and 1m. 575 for women. There is, 
it is true, a little difference of about a centimetre among modern 
Parisians, but this perhaps is due to the quality of the bones 
preserved. We know that their duration depends often only 
on their hardness, and it is probable that among so many 
people buried in those cemeteries we have only the remains of 
the strongest individuals which have resisted the attacks 
of time. 

It is possible, on the other hand, that the ancients knew 
individual cases of giants just as we come across them in our 
time. Only that we, better informed and far from seeing in it 
a special privilege of heaven, find in it a diseased state and a 
proof of perverse nutrition. Science only perceives in them 
dystrophic examples, infantile monstrosities and degenerate 
individuals, all suitable subjects for medical pathology. 

Consequently there are no peoples of giants ! The Germanic 
barbarians therefore on this matter of height are thus found to 
be perceptibly equal. The small differences which anthropology 
reveals are reduced to a few centimetres, which the influence of 
milieu easily explains. 

What has contributed to the belief in giants is, as we have 
said, the fact that from all time the bones of animal fossils have 
been confounded with those of prehistoric man. 

Let us remember, as an example, the case quoted by Von 
Zittel. The molar tooth of a mammoth is venerated at 
Valencia as a relic of St. Christopher. Another tooth, also 
that of a fossil, was long borne at the head of processions 
imploring rain, as a relic of St. Vincent. 

Buffon disclosed the fraud of which the savants and public 
of his day were victims, in identifying human bones with 
those of animals. " There was a time when warriors were 
interred with their warhorses, perhaps also with their war 
elephants, and it is the remains of these which are wrongly 
identified with the skeletons of our ancestors." 

Nevertheless, in spite of the protestations of specialists, the 
fossil remains of animals, falsely attributed to men, continued 
and still continue to be venerated. According to M. Launois 
and M. Roy, there could be seen in 1872, under the 


porch of the Chapel of the Castle of Cracow, a curious 
collection of holy relics which were really only the skull of a 
rhinoceros, a simple bone of a mastodon, and a half jaw of a 

France was for a long time the scene of a very amusing 
discussion on the subject of the bones of a giant who was of 
the phenomenal length of 25 feet. They were attributed 
to a King of the Teutons, named Teutobochus, vanquished 
by Marius near Aix in 102 B.C. These bones were discovered 
in 1613 in the neighbourhood of Romans, in Dauphin^. 
Nearly all the savants of that period were of the above 
opinion, which died hard, for it was only 220 years later that 
Blainville succeeded in dissipating the misunderstanding 
created round the pretended skeleton of Teutobochus. It 
was really the remains of a mastodon similar to those found 
in Ohio ! 

Under the influence of milieu, which for us comprises the 
sum total of all the circumstances which act on man, the 
heights of different peoples can naturally vary, but what is most 
essential is that the relative periods of the increase of height 
are everywhere subject to the same laws. The studies made on 
this subject, by Bowditch, Gould, Roberts, Beneke, &c., among 
others, demonstrate that the height increases everywhere, accord- 
ing to age and sex, relatively in the same way. Quetelet, in his 
studies, Homme and Anthropomdtrie, has, however, thought it 
possible to formulate into a special law the influence of well- 
being, age and sex on the height. 

It goes without saying that the mode of life should be added, 
the reactionary effect of which cannot be neglected. The 
example mentioned above concerning rich young girls in the 
United States is reproduced on a much larger scale in Japan. 
E. Baelz, in his profound studies on Japan from an anthropological 
point of view, notes the existence of two peoples, so to speak, 
who are quite distinct in point of stature and physical vigour. 
First, the descendants of rich classes, who, having abandoned 
their life of ancient warfare, now devote themselves passionately 
to studies and become more and more feeble and decrepit ; 
then the children of the people, strong and well-built fellows, 
who seem to issue from quite another stock. In this way the 

scions of ancient noble families, the Kwazdku, affected by all 
kinds of scrofulous maladies, diminish in height and strength. 
The education and the detestable mode of life of Japanese men 
have also contributed much to aggravate the evil. 

Let us note that with the energy which characterises the 
Japanese, they have undertaken a number of measures to 
stamp out the evil. Gymnastics, once so much despised, now 
occupy a prominent place in the system of modern education. 

When the many causes which influence height are regarded, 
it becomes impossible to adopt the opinion of Broca, Boudin, 
and so many other anthropologists who only look at height for 
a specific expression of race. We shall give numerous proofs later 
on which constitute almost a direct experiment on the influence 
which housing and nourishment exercise on the height. Let 
us merely confine ourselves to note the conclusion of the learned 
German, Otto Bellinger, who was the author of numerous 
books on human growth, viz. that the influence of race on 
stature is a negligible quantity in comparison with so many 
other factors, such as nourishment, the abuse of physical or 
psychical labour, maladies acquired or hereditary, &c. 

The following is a significant example of the illusory 
influence of race on stature. We take it from American 
life according to measurements made there on the stature of 
the inhabitants. First, we mark that the three special varieties 
of its inhabitants the Whites, Indians, and Blacks have nearly 
the same stature. According to the measurements of Baxter, 
the Whites attain 1m. 73, as against the Indians (Gould) and 
Blacks, 1m. 70. 

A still more curious detail which we owe to Gould is that the 
Irish who land young in the United States attain a proportionally 
higher stature than those who arrive after the age of 30, that is, 
the time of life when growth ceases. 

The numerous observations collected in France corroborate 
in all points those made in the United States. Let us dwell 
particularly on the very careful data of Dr. Carlier. 1 With a 
patience worthy of all praise, he has for nineteen years 
(1872-1890) devoted himself to researches on the height, the 

1 See the Annales <T Hygiene publique (1892), where Dr. Carlier sums up his 


race, and the different professions in the arrondissement of 
Evreux. To work with greater certainty he has taken for 
purpose of comparison the lists of those who have drawn lots 
together with the descriptions of all the heights of those 
recruited from each of the eleven cantons. The following are 
his conclusions 

The individuals who may be regarded as having been brought 
up, as their profession would suggest, in good hygienic conditions 
and in the enjoyment of a certain leisure (students, teachers, agri- 
culturists, gardeners, vinedressers, carpenters, clerks, merchants, 
butchers, joiners, woodcutters) have generally a stature above 
the average, whereas those who are ill-nourished, badly-clothed, 
brought up in unfavourable surroundings (workers in iron 
factories or cotton mills, nailmakers, ironmongers, founders, 
moulders, turners, pastrycooks, &c.) are inferior to the others. 

In proceeding with the same method, divers other observers 
arrive at analogous conclusions. Let us note on this subject 
the works of M. Chopinet on the Pyrenees, those of M. 
Collignon on the C6tes-du-Nord, of M. Chervin on the Seine- 

We are asked to believe that stature is generally synony- 
mous with distinction and noble origin. In starting from this 
standpoint, the anthropo-psychologists place at the head of 
humanity the fair-haired and tall dolichocephalic. But in 
adopting the division of Topinard into four groups (a) high 
stature horn 1m. 70 upwards; (b) stature above the mean from 
1m. 65 to 1m. 70 ; (c) below the mean from 1m. 60 to 1m. 65 ; (d) 
low stature below 1m. 60 we notice in the first place that high 
stature is to be found especially among the Patagonians(l'781), 
Polynesians (1762), Iroquois Indians (1'735), Negroes, Kaffirs, 
followed by the Scandinavians, English, Scotch, Eskimos, Irish, 
Vadagas of India, &c., &c. The French (1'650) take a middle 
place with the tribes of Eastern India (1'652), the natives of 
the Caucasus (T650) and the Algerian Negroes (1'645). 

Let us add, however, that the figures given by the anthro- 
pologists are generally to be used with caution. It is enough 
to recall the case of Humboldt with his measurements of the 
Caribbeans of the Orinoco, whom he succeeded in passing as 
giants (1'84), which was subsequently demonstrated to be 


altogether erroneous. An example no less characteristic is that of 
the Patagonians. According to Magellan, who discovered them for 
the first time in 1519, they were 7| feet in height; according 
to the Dutchman Sebald de Noort, 10 to 11 feet; according to 
Commerson, 5 feet 6 inches; according to the Commodore 
Byron, 7 feet, &c. To-day we know that these pretended giants 
have a height equal to that of the Scandinavians or the Scots. 
We must in general make many reservations with regard to 
these measures, made by occasional travellers or by explorers 
who lack authority. 

The weight of the body is related to the height. Nevertheless 
the weight is not always in proportion to the height. According 
to the figures brought forward by Gould, 1 centimetre of height 
corresponds in a Spaniard to a weight of 364 grams; in an 
Englishman, to 366; among the French, Belgians and Swiss 
to 372; in a North American, 374; in a German, 376; in a 
Scandinavian, 382 ; in a Negro and a Mulatto, 387 ; and in an 
Iroquois, 422, &c. Even granting that these figures are quite 
true, it would be impossible to draw from them any conclusion 
whatsoever. It appears, therefore, probable that the mode of 
occupation must play the chief rdle in determining the weight, 
besides other conditions of milieu such as nourishment, length 
of sleep and physical exercise in the open air. 

I The Colour 

The colour of our skin strikes every observer at first glance. 
According to its shades humanity has been divided for all time 
into white, yellow and black. Red skins were added as an after- 
thought. This oldest of all human classifications is at the same 
time one of the most defective. Its errors are obvious the moment 
the specific characteristics of each of the categories are considered. 
For while among the whites there are men whose skin is as black 
as ebony (the Bicharis or the black Moors of Senegal), there 
are among the blacks fair or yellow skins like the Bushmen. 
Whence is this difference of colour ? The skin of the negro, the 
yellow and the white is identical as to that which concerns its 
composition, which comprises three essential parts, the derm, 



the mucous membrane and the epidermis. What varies is the 
colour of the cells of the mucous membrane ; these are blackish 
brown in the negro, pale yellow in the fair-white, a yellow more 
or less brownish in the brown- white. But when this difference 
of colouring is examined closely, it must be acknowledged that 
the milieu, represented in particular in this case by the 
intensity of the solar rays, exercises a preponderant influence 
on it. 

The melanism in fowls, which corresponds with the negro 
phenomenon among men, provides us with a curious illustration 
on this subject. We know that the " negro " fowls which are 
so frequently seen in the Cape de Verde islands, the Philippines 
and Bogota are descended from the European variety. But 
these fowls, which present in the winged world an equivalent 
to negroes * among men, do not differ in other respects from 
other fowl varieties. The black colouring appears here in an acci- 
dental way, and is perpetuated by heredity under the influence 
of the milieu. And another curious matter is that among 
black fowls all the mucous and all the fibrous and aponeu- 
rotic systems, and even the muscular membranes, become black. 
This change of colour is in this way much more pronounced and 
more intrinsic than among black men. Yet no one has taken 
it into his head to perceive in black fowls a race destined 
irrevocably to a sort of inferiority in the world of hens ! 

The colouring depends, in short, on the production and the 
distribution of colouring matter in the organism. The skin of 
the Scandinavian is white, almost colourless, or even rosy pink, 
owing to the transparence of the epidermis which allows the 
red colouring matter of the blood to be seen. When after an 
attack of anaemia the number of globules descends from 127 
(normal) to 21, the lowest proportion, the teguments become 
pale and assume the colour of virgin wax. 

The Antisians of Peru, who are distinguished by their white 
colour (d'Orbigny), dwell at the foot of pointed rocks under 
immense trees whose ramifications form a sort of roof impene- 
trable to the sun's rays. They live in a humid atmosphere 
plunged in dark shades. Their complexion is affected by this, 

'Fowls, like men, show the three extreme colours seen in man : (1) Gaulish, 
white ; (2) Cochin China, yellowish ; and (3) black. 

and the Antisians are much fairer than the tribes of the 
Aymaras or Moxos, who occupy shadeless plains or high plateaus 
in the same neighbourhood. 

In studying the influence of the milieu, we shall see how 
much this affects the colour. In what concerns the negroes 
transported into the northern United States and even into 
those of the South, let us add that their complexion has 
singularly paled, while at the same time their features have 
become considerably modified. When a negro born in North 
America is compared with his congener in Africa, we are 
astonished at the physiological variations which a century 
has been able to effect in his constitution and in his external 

" In the space of 150 years," so E. Reclus tells us, " the Negro 
has surmounted a good fourth of the distance which separates 
him from the Whites." What is more characteristic is that 
the Negro and the Yankee under climatic influence both 
approximate to the aboriginal type of the Red Skins. They will 
no doubt never resemble in all points the red tribes doomed for 
the time being to irremediable disappearance. The evolution 
of the Negroes and the Whites in the United States, working 
under conditions not identical, must naturally result in different 
effects. But both are evolving towards the type of the Red 
Skins. It is difficult to doubt it when we observe the physio- 
logical modifications realised in the United States by its present 

Let us remember also that according to Giuseppe Sergi, 
Professor Brinton, &c., the white race, the ethnographical pride 
of Europe, is only the direct fruit of a negro race, the Euro- 
Africans, established in Europe from time immemorial and 
who came from North Africa ! A certain consistency is given 
to this theory by the fact that a number of bones considered to 
be negroid have been discovered in different parts of Europe. 

In studying the skeletons found in the Grotte des Enfants, 
near Mentone, M. Verneau arrived at the conclusion that they 
must be negroid. Their teeth (Albert Gaudry) showed a 
perceptible difference when compared with those of the Whites 
living to-day. In 1903 M. Herve brought to notice two skulls 
which were also negroid. These were found in the peninsula 

H 2 


of Quiberon. They belong, one to the neolithic age, and the 
other to the Gaulish period. 

An analogous discovery has been made quite recently by M. 
Pittard in the Rhone valley. 1 

Whatever the truth may be concerning the settlement of 
negroid peoples in Neolithic Europe, it is nevertheless incon- 
testable that under the influence of climate nearly all the traits 
which distinguish the negro type are modified. Where we fail 
to grasp the direct influence of external factors, their disappear- 
ance, appearance or modification takes place as the result of the 
law of the co-ordination of traits which governs the numerous 
organic changes whose cause escapes us. 

We must not, however, trust to colour when it is a matter of 
the classification of human beings, as Linnaeus has already 
affirmed. The differences of colour are reduced, in short, to a 
varied colouring of the pigment of the mucous membrane. 
Now this being modified by the influence of external conditions, 
gives to the skin a scale of tints varying between ebony black, 
red, yellow, the most pronounced white and half tints passing 
from one colour to the other. 

All these distinct colourings are connected by an infinite 
variety of shadings. There are Makalolos with colour like 
cafi au lait, yellow grey Bushmen, Asiatics olive green or 
yellow like gingerbread, Obongos of a dirty yellow, Bisharis 
of red mahogany, Polynesians of a coppery cinnamon red, and 
Foulbes of rhubarb yellow. 

In the matter of colour nothing is fixed or stable from the 
moment that the conditions of the milieu change. In this as in 
other physiological modifications one must count not by years but 

1 See on this subject the account given by the Academic des Sciences for 
June 13, 1904, also the studies of R. Verneau in I' Anthropologie, 1902, and 
G. Herve's Crdnes ndolithiques armoricains de type negroide (Bull, et Mem. 
Soc. d'Anthrop., 1903). Re the bones of M. Pittard, this is a curious passage 
from the memoir read before the Acaddmie dee Sciences : "Prognathism is 
facial and maxillary, not dental. A descending perpendicular from the nasal 
point on the alveo-condylian plan touches in front of the first true molar. 
The index of prognathism, obtained according to Flower's method, gives 
respectively, 106'86 and 102'78. The first of these numbers is altogether 
remarkable. Many of the skulls of negroes do not attain it. These two 
indices surpass considerably the mean or individual indices of the series from 
which they have been drawn. The skulls of Quiberon with M. Herv6 had, 
as indices, 102 and 100. The nasal index of the two Valaisan negroid skulls 
show platyrhiny in both, as that of the two Breton skulls of M. Herve." 

by human generations. Certain traits are modified in the first 
generation. It is thus that among the Japanese the skin 
changes colour after twenty years' residence in Europe. After 
the second generation the peculiarity of the eye has also disap- 
peared. The same applies to negroes, whose complexion 
becomes whiter in France. 

We perceive that the milieu succeeds in modifying colour by 
the changes which it produces in the plumage of the fowl 
species. Thus in the South, white fowls imported from northern 
countries soon become yellow. In addition to the modification 
of plumage, we notice a change of pigment in the flesh itself. 
M. H. L. A. Blanchon attributes it to the influences exercised 
by food. " Who knows," he asks, " whether the feathers of 
brilliant colours which belong to tropical birds are not partly 
due to nourishment ? " We must not ignore the fact that under 
the influence of maize the yellow claws of fowls assume an 
intenser colour, whereas the plumage becomes yellow and takes 
a saffron tint if the fowl is white or of light colour. Conse- 
quently one avoids giving this grain to fowls of white plumage, 
whereas it is given to fowls which have no white in their 
plumage (the Hamburg, the Golden Padua, &c.). Iron also 
plays an important part in the colouring. In making them 
take a pinch of carbonate of iron daily during the moulting 
period the same experimenter affirms that the colours of the 
plumage, once the moulting period is over, are brighter, and the 
metallic reflections which certain fowls display are accentuated 
in a remarkable way. If carbonate of iron were mixed with 
the paste given to white fowls the appearance of a special 
pigment would be seen, giving to the white feathers a yellow 
colouring. In nourishing white fowls with cayenne pepper 
mixed with soaked bread and potatoes, M. Saermann obtained 
striking results. After the tenth day a young white cock had 
orange feathers. One had orange lines on its breast. In time 
the first had the breast and the comb quite red with the 
remainder of the body orange, whereas the second remained 
white with a red breast. There were, however, chickens on 
which this feeding seemed to exercise no influence at all. But 
then we must remember that this experiment had only been 
made on twelve examples during a year. It is also probable 


that this feeding influenced the plasmas, but to our great regret 
this breeder did not examine the descendants of the fowls 
subjected to this special treatment. For a long time the 
breeders of birds have had recourse to feeding considered as a 
dominant factor in colouring. With this object in view cloves 
are used, also the bark of quinine, the gum of kino, the roots 
of orchanet, madder-root, cayenne pepper, cashoo, saffron, &c., 
all of which have the property of modifying the light yellow 
colouring into red or dark yellow. Professor Wyman, astonished 
to see that all the pigs of a certain part of Virginia were black, 
sought and found the reason of it. He learnt that all these 
animals nourished themselves on the roots of Lachnanthes 
tinctoria, which colours their bones pink and causes the hoofs 
to fall off in the case of all pigs which are not black. 

Who knows if the colouring of human beings is not often 
like that of animals and plants, in direct correlation with their 
chances of survival in certain surroundings? In Tarentin, 
Darwin tells us, the inhabitants only breed black sheep because 
the Hypericum crispum is there in abundance. This plant, 
which kills white sheep at the end of 15 days, has no effect 
whatever on black sheep. Even the sun itself appears to act 
differently according to the colour of the beings on which its 
rays shine. It kills certain plants and animals, and has a vivi- 
fying effect on others. Horticulturists teach us, for example, 
that certain pansies and pelargoniums profit by the sun, whilst 
others lose a great deal under its action. Red wheat, we are 
told, is much more vigorous in a northern climate than white 

It has been proved many times that colour is in direct corre- 
lation with the action of parasites. Quatrefages tells us that 
the butterflies of the silkworms which produce white cocoons 
resist illness better than those which produce yellow cocoons. 
Darwin quotes this fact from the Gardener's Chronicle (1852, 
p. 435), that during the first period of the vine disease near 
Malaga, the white varieties were the most attacked, whereas 
the red and black, which grew in the midst of the diseased 
plants, suffered in no way from the malady. Among the 
different kinds of vervain, the white ones are particularly subject 
to blight. 

Light-coloured animals suffer more, as a rule, than those of 
dark colour. It is thus that in the West Indies white cattle 
cannot be utilised because they are tormented by insects. 

It is the same in the case ot men. Certain white men 
cannot resist certain climates, whereas men of colour accommo- 
date themselves easily to them. With the progress of bacterio- 
logical science, perhaps the causes which favour the acclimation 
of certain human varieties, and render it difficult to others, will 
be found. For the time being it is sufficient to state as an example 
that at equal latitudes the warm regions of the southern hemi- 
sphere are generally more favourable to the white races than those 
of the north. Boudin has also demonstrated that the average 
mortality of the English and French armies was about eleven 
times greater in our hemisphere than in the South. The negro 
everywhere suffers less from malarial fevers than the white. 

It seems therefore probable that colour is often but an 
unconscious adaptation to the conditions of the milieu. It is 
under its influence, and doubtless as the result of selections 
which cover hundreds of generations, that men have acquired 
certain colours which are propitious to their evolution. If this 
explanation is true, nothing is more natural than the weakening 
and even the disappearance of this characteristic trait with the 
change of surroundings. When we examine closely the 
modifications undergone by the black race when transported 
to the United States, we shall find many proofs to confirm it. 

Acclimation, that is to say, the physiological adaptation to the 
milieu, is a general fact the action of which is incontestable on 
living beings. In the same way as our domestic animals have 
become under the influence of other conditions of milieu, and 
without any intervention from the breeder, sheep with long or 
matted hair, hairless bulls, pigs covered with wool, dogs with 
the ears and skin of a fox, &c., so the Red Skins would change 
colour if transported from America to Australia as the Negroes 
of Africa are modified by long residence in Europe. Let us 
remember, on the other hand, that white men living in the 
United States begin after a few generations to show the 
prevailing traits of Red Skins, including the colour of their 

What facilitates the variations in the colour of our skin is that 


these are only of superficial importance. As stated by Virchow, who 
has made remarkable studies on human colour, the diverse colour- 
ings which are so perplexing to ordinary people are resolved under 
the microscope to a very simple expression. " There we have 
neither fair nor black nor blue ; everything is brown. The 
skin of the negro under the microscope shows dark pigments, 
as also that of the fairest European. The blue of the iris 
of the eye shows also dark pigments under the microscope. 
European colouring is not made of milk and of blood, or of 
other colourless substances, not of Ichor like the gods of 
antiquity but of dark pigments. Differences of colour are 
reduced to differences of quantity and not of quality. Some- 
times on the surface and sometimes deeper, these pigments 
in all cases form the essential element of differentiation." 

Under these conditions it cannot be doubted that colour is 
the direct effect of the milieu. " A fair person (Virchow tells us) 
placed in a certain milieu becomes brown, and vice versd." 
This fact was known long before Darwin, but its mode of action 
still remains inexplicable. 

III. The Hair 

The hair is in direct correlation with the colour of the 
skin. It is thus that with the dark skin of the Negro 
is seen their woolly hair, very short and frizzled. Bory de 
Saint Vincent thinks there are two principal qualities which 
distinguish human hair. In the case of some it is smooth 
(leiotrichous), with others it is woolly (ulotrichous). When the 
hair appears rectilinear in all its length, we consider it smooth. 
But when curved and like little ringlets interlacing each other 
like tufts of wool, we call it frizzled. 

Nevertheless the hair, like the colour, varies from shade to 
shade. An attentive observer could even establish a sort of 
harmonious gradation which would comprise all varieties and 
render their successive transformations evident. According to 
Brown, the stem of a hair cut transversely allows us to 
recognise human races. In the Negro it is like an elongated 


ellipse, in the Red Skin like a circle, and in the Anglo-Saxon it 
is a form between these two. 

Primer Bey, in starting from the thickness of the hair's stem, 
points out three principal categories : hair with very narrow 
stem like the flat hair of the Bushmen or ordinary Negro, the 
intermediary hair of white races, and finally the hard hair, 
thick and round, belonging to Mongols, Chinese, Americans 
and Malays. 1 

But it is enough to study Negro hair among the representatives 
of this race in order to see how it changes with the milieu. It is 
thus that the Blacks living many generations in the United States 
tend to resemble other Americans such as Germans, Slavs or 
Anglo-Saxons. Cross-breeding, even in the first degree, often 
radically changes the colour and the characteristic qualities 
of the hair. 

Sorby (quoted by Virchow), in using sulphuric acid, succeeded 
in extracting various coloured substances from the hair. All 
are reduced to four principal categories, pale red, dark red, yellow 
and black. But experiment has proved that all these substances 
constitute a gradation, for they all proceed one from the other and 
in progressive transformation. 

This fact is of first importance. It confirms above all the 
theory that it is only a matter of different quantities and not 
of irreducible elements. Let us mention, however, the existence 
of red colouring matter in all red hair, which varies from 
flaming red to dark red. This mattei represents the dark 
pigment of other hair. 

The reds form in consequence a category apart, and there is 
no more difference here between fair hair, red or brown than 
between black and fair. The bearing of this fact, however, must 
not be exaggerated, for, as we have seen above, all the colours 
which we succeed in extracting from our hair only form a succes- 
sive gradation, proving their common composition and source. 

In default of fundamental differences in the coloration, the 
attempt has been made to find a distinctive sign of racial 
differences in the quantity of the hair. We know that in 
addition to the long single hairs which attain their development 

1 Sur la chevelure comme cararttristique des racet humaines, &c. Mem. 
Soc. d'Anthrop. Vols. II. and III. 


on the head, there are also stiff and short hairs to be ob- 
served on the eyelids, the eyebrows, nostrils, armpits, elbows 
and the inner angle of the eye. All this constitutes what 
is called the pilous system. But are there in the matter of 
the hair's growth and abundance and of the pilous system 
any essential differences among men ? Excepting the Ainos, 
well known for their excessive hairiness all over the body, and 
also the Todas, very like them, there are no peoples or races 
to be found distinguished in this particular. 

Savants, however, have fallen back on the internal structure 
of the hair, to find a solid basis on which to divide humanity. 
Topinard, 1 for example, tells us that the spiral form gives us the 
best characteristics for the distinction of racial types. The four 
essential kinds of hair, viz. straight, undulated, curled or frizzled, 
and woolly, are distributed among human beings as follows the 
yellow and American races are distinguished by their 
rectilineal hair containing traces of undulation ; the European 
peoples, Semites and Berbers have wavy or undulated hair; the 
Australians and Negroes mixed with Yellows and Whites are 
distinguished by their frizzled hair, the spiral curves still 
touching without perceptibly commingling, whereas in the negro 
type of frizzled or woolly hair the spiral curves are so close that 
they commingle. The hair of Negroes commingled and 
interlaced is seen like cylinders several millimetres in diameter, 
and massed together they appear on the surface of the head in 
tufts often very distinct. 

But here also, whilst admitting the exactness of this division, 
we notice the imperceptible passing of the straight and pliant hair 
to the undulated hair and then the curled and frizzled, to arrive 
finally at the woolly hair. We insist on this odd progression, 
which demonstrates that in this case evolution and progress 
go from the yellow and white races to the Negro ! His hair 
becomes in this way the supreme expression of progress, the 
goal towards which all the hair of the other peoples and races 
ought to tend. 

For in reality woolly hair, in serving as the usual basis for 
the division of humanity into pariahs and privileged stocks, 
establishes a kind of superiority for the Negroes. If man is 
i UHommt dans la Nature. 


essentially more noble as the distance between him and 
anthropoid apes widens, it must not be forgotten that these 
monkeys only have straight and little undulated hair, re- 
sembling that of the yellow races and the American peoples, 
and perceptibly approaching Europeans, Berbers and Semites ! 
The woolly hair of the Negroes, having nothing in common 
with that of the apes, procures for them in this way a decided 
advantage (?) over men of other colours and races ! 

We shall see, however, by what follows how very risky this 
gradation of humanity according to the accepted canon becomes. 
Very frequently the so-called inferior races show precisely 
the physiological properties which by reversing all preconceived 
methods of classification place them at the head of humanity ! 

IV. The Brown and the Fair 

The colour of the skin and the hair is closely related to the 
question of the brown and the fair, which troubles the brains 
of many anthropologists and especially those of anthropo-psy- 
chologists. Connected especially with the structure of the 
skull, it gives birth to a class of privileged men who unite 
dolichocephaly with fair hair and fair complexions. 

These " fair dolichocephalic " become a kind of auto-suggestion 
ol race to most of the theorists. It often makes them lose 
the idea of reality and the respect due to the dignity of 
man. Later on we shall have occasion to show the inanity of 
this strange dogma, the cult of which can only be explained 
by those attacks of collective folly which seize with equal 
intensity both the multitudes and those whom they accept as 

Intoxicated with the spectacle of certain fair peoples with long 
skulls, to whom with reason or without they attribute the merit 
of having guided human civilisation during centuries, certain 
savants have wished to erect this occasional circumstance into an 
inexorable law. To do this they have either forgotten or made 
themselves forget this indisputable historical fact, that the leader- 
ship of human thought has often changed hands in the course 
of time. Without taking the least account of the form of the 
skull or the colour of the skin or of the hair, we have seen 


human supremacy go now to the Ethiopians, Chinese, Greeks, 
and Romans, now to brown Celts or fair Teutons, people of all 
shades and of all craniological structures. What interests us 
particularly here is the fact that one can no longer divide 
humanity under this heading. Brown and fair, long and broad 
skulls are found intermingled in the same country, in the same 
district, and in the same family. How then can we succeed in 
differentiating them ? 

In what particularly concerns the hair and the colour of the 
eyes, let us remember the imposing inquiry organised by the 
German Anthropological Society under the direction of R 
Virchow. It bore on the colour of the hair, eyes and skin in 
the case of children of both sexes in the German schools. The 
success of this enterprise caused some successful imitations of 
it in Belgium, Switzerland and Austria. Anthropology has 
thus obtained the results of the examination of about ten 
millions of children. Germany procured 6,758,827 scholars, 
Austria 2,304,501, Belgium 608,698, and Switzerland 405,609. 
Now the number of fair-haired amounted to about a fourth 
without counting Belgium, that of the brown to a sixth, 
and the remainder, that is six out of ten millions, belonged to 
the mixed type. Germany, " the land of the fair-haired, " only 
showed 31 per cent, of fair-haired, 14 per cent, of brown and 
about 55 per cent, of mixed type ! 

Let us also mention the inquiries of Dr. Beddoe, the results of 
which were drawn up in a number of tables. We extract from 
them these significant figures ; of 1,100 Scotch Highlanders, who 
as Celts ought to have been brown, 45 per cent, were fair-haired, 
30 per cent, brown, and 25 per cent, mixed ; of 1,250 Viennese 
(a fair Germanic race) 32 per cent, were fair, 23 per cent, brown, 
and 45 per cent, mixed. 

The attempts made in France to draw up the statistics of 
fair- and brown-haired gave identical results. Among ourselves, 
as elsewhere, the brown and the fair are extremely mixed and 
widely disseminated. 

These numerous observations can be generalised under this 
commonplace that Southern countries show a greater number 
of brown-haired, and those of the North a greater number of 



WE go on to notice several traits of physical ugliness concerning 
which many travellers have made a great stir. Denounced 
with some exaggeration as contributing to the deformation of 
many primitive peoples, they have excited the wild imagination 
of the Whites. We note in this connection steatopygy, the 
excessive length of the breasts and the "apron." When we 
perceive on the gluteal muscles of Hottentot, Bushmen, Kaffir 
or Somali women, masses of fat developed out of all measure 
and vibrating at the least movement like two bags attached to 
the waist, we say it is a case of steatopygy. Let us state in the 
first place that even among these tribes it is not general but only 
very frequent. Sometimes also, according to G. Fritsch, well- 
nourished boys and men display a tendency to acquire supple- 
mentary patches of fat on the same spot. According to 
Livingstone, certain Boer women, and therefore white, who have 
been settled for a long time in South Africa show an analogous 
agglomeration of fat on the buttocks. 

If this information was exact, we would perhaps find a 
plausible explanation of this phenomenon, which, to say the 
least, is odd, in the conditions of that milieu. It would be 
interesting to make a counter experiment and to subject 
steatopygic women to the influence of another milieu. Accord- 
ing to all probable previsions, this phenomenon would disappear 
after a few generations. The experiment not having been 
tried, it appears to us impossible to adopt the opinion of the 
anthropologists, several of whom, as circumspect as Topinard, 
want to see in steatopygy a profound anthropological division 
among races. 


It would separate human beings in the same way as 
the dog and wolf, and the goat and lamb ! Nothing but 
the rarity of this phenomenon makes this conclusion 
excessive. The example of Boer women, however, singularly 
weakens it, and the absolute want of any counter experiment 
in the sense mentioned above robs it of all scientific value. 
Let us add that it is only a matter of the augmentation of local 
fat varying in degree, and not the appearance of an irreducible 
organ or trait. It strikes our attention when seen in an 
excessive degree, but it nevertheless exists in an intermediary 
state among many white women. We remember that certain 
images found in the ruins of Pompeii show this kind of 
" growth " apparently as a sign of beauty ! 

Our aesthetic tastes, on the other hand, may be shocked at the 
leisurely sight of these floating balloons of fat, but those of the 
women on the spot would be in entire disagreement with us. 
These, indeed, find therein a trait of beauty, and exhibit it with the 
same pride as white women do their false hair and false breasts. 

As to the exaggerated length of the breasts and the " apron," 
they are much more rarely found among these same Bushwomen. 
Travellers tell us, it is true, that there are women who can 
throw their breasts over their shoulders, as there are other 
women who have the little lips of their genital organ so 
elongated that they almost form an apron. These attain among 
certain Bushwomen from 15 to 18 centimetres. 

Without desiring to dwell on this delicate subject, let us 
remark that these three phenomena are found in the same 
human type living in identical conditions of milieu. Nor are 
they found in a general and usual way, but sporadically. A 
more important matter is that, regarded from the point of view 
of the transition of human traits, they cannot be considered as 
the irreducible and exceptional characteristics of certain peoples 
and races. 

The exaggerated elongation of the breasts is easily explained 
by the regrettable process of drawing them which is practised by 
certain women among the Bushmen and Hottentots. According 
to Ranke, certain country women of Northern Ireland, and also 
certain Dalmatian women, show for the same reason an excessive 
length of breasts. 


Again, the " apron " is found more frequently than is supposed 
among young white girls. A comparative study, sure to be 
made some day, holds in store some surprise for us on this 
subject. We cannot for the moment restrain ourselves from 
stating that from the monkey point of view, considered by 
many anthropologists as a criterion of beauty, the existence of 
the " apron " constitutes a very enviable preference ! Among 
female gorillas, the little lips remain almost absolutely invisible. 
We ought logically to appreciate as a trait of superiority the 
striking spectacle which the " apron" offers us. 


I. The Identity of Physiological Functions 

THE physiology of man is the same in the case of all his 
representatives. He who would speak of a special physiology of 
yellow men, or black men, would run the risk of making 
himself ridiculous. Far from seeking distinctions of all sorts 
under this heading, we find the completest harmony of all 
physiological functions among all the representatives of humanity 
whatever their race or colour. Their functions of breathing and 
digesting, the period of gestation and of growth through the 
successive phases of age, in one word the evolution of their 
physiological life between the two most solemn moments of their 
terrestrial existence, birth and death, undergo the same laws. 
Those differences which are met with in animals of the same 
species, with regard to gestation, are not found among human 
beings. The she-wolf carries a little over a hundred days, 
large dogs 63, and little dogs from 59 to 63. Among the 
different races of pigs, gestation lasts from 109 to 123 days 
(according to Nathusius, this period would in general be shorter 
among precocious races). According to the observations of 
Tessier, made on 1,131 cows, there was a difference of 81 days 
between the length of the shortest and longest gestation. 

M. Lefour affirms that the period of gestation is longer 
among the tall German races than among the short. When we 
study the other domestic races in this particular, we also 
perceive that the period of gestation varies according to the 
races. The observations of Nathusius teach us that merino and 


Southdown sheep living in identical conditions differ never- 
theless as follows in the length of their gestation : 

Merinos 150*3 days 

Southdowns 144'2 

Crossbreeds of these two races 146'3 

Three-quarters Southdowns 145'5 &c. 

Fecundity varies according to races. The number of litters 
in the year and the number of little ones in each litter varies 
according to animal races of the same species. Domestic 
animals outstrip wild animals in this respect. Whereas the 
wild sow bears twice yearly from four to eight little ones, the 
domestic sow bears from two to three times and has as many as ten 
little ones every time. The wild rabbit bears four times in the 
year, and every time from four to eight young ones. When 
domesticated it bears from six to seven times yearly, having 
each time on an average from eight to ten. In the works of 
Darwin l and Herbert Spencer 2 many enumerations are found of 
birds and other domesticated animals, whose fecundity varies 
according to race. The wild duck, for example, lays from five to 
ten eggs, the domesticated from eighty to one hundred in one 

Is this the case with the different varieties of human beings ? 
Who would venture to maintain that white or yellow women, 
civilised or savage, are distinct from one another in the matter 
of length of gestation or the faculty of giving birth to children ? 
The number of births indeed often varies among different 
peoples, but no one would think of attributing this difference to 
the factor of race. All human varieties are sometimes prolific 
and sometimes relatively sterile. The reasons for a great or 
insignificant birth-rate are always to be found in transient 
sociological causes, comprising the habits or mode of life 
peculiar to the given population. The period of nursing varies, 
it is true, but here also the differences which we see are only 
the effects of custom and usage. It even changes considerably 
within the limits of the same country, province and district. 

All the phases of sexual life are to be found equally regularly 

1 De la Variation des Animaux. Vol. II. 
* Principes de Biologic. II. 


among all human beings. It is true that the time of puberty 
varies, not because of a different physiological structure, but 
because of the influence of climate. 

The circulation of the blood likewise is the same in all and 
follows the same laws. If the pulse of the radial artery, which is 
an accurate expression of the beatings of the heart, shows certain 
variations, they are due to the state of health, age, digestion, 
corpulence, or temperament of the individual, and not to a 
different physiological structure in races and peoples. 

Respiration and digestion are sometimes bad and sometimes 
good according to the individuals and their general health. As 
to breathing, let us note the irritating ignorance which is met 
with on this matter both among savage and civilised peoples. 
It is only in these modern years that it has been seen that 
respiration must be learnt, and that left to themselves children 
breathe wrongly to the great prejudice of their health. Scien- 
tific respiration, as now taught, contributes to the enlarging 
of the lungs and to the strengthening of the digestive organs. 

All attempts at dividing humanity according to faculty of 
speech, singing, good sight, good hearing or good smelling have 
completely failed. 

All men are equal physiologically at their birth, and never 
cease to be so till they die. Death appears everywhere under 
the same conditions. The mean duration of human life varies, 
particularly owing to climate, comfort and hygiene, and not 
because of racial differences. It is our way of living, not our 
way of being born, which lengthens or shortens life. Long- 
evity is sometimes hereditary, but the same phenomenon is 
found both among civilised and uncivilised. Health stored up 
by the parents often profits the children, but it is a capital 
which is not very secure, and one which a second generation 
may tamper with and squander. In discussing this question at 
greater length in my Philosophic de la Longdvitt, I have had 
occasion to demonstrate the absolute equality of human beings 
in the presence of death. 

As to diseases, they are generally common to men. They 
renew and multiply themselves with regrettable frequency. 
Scarcely is one overcome before others appear on the horizon 
to make havoc of the human organism. Their novelty lies 


only in their names. With the progress of science, special 
pathological states are discovered which escaped the vigilance of 
our ancestors. But whether old or new, diseases are connected 
with milieu, and not with man. Several exceptions have been 
brought forward, upon which to erect the sorry privilege of race. 

Reality, however, refuses to endorse these charters of exclusive- 
ness. Without doubt certain infections attack white men 
more readily than Negroes in hot climates, but this fact is 
explained by the natives' special power of endurance, and their 
mode of life, which is more adapted to the conditions of the 
milieu. Malaria, which carries off certain populations on the 
outskirts of marshy districts, is as unrelenting to the natives 
as to all white, yellow, or black men who settle in these 
regions. When at length bacteriological science succeeded in 
finding the zoospore of this terrible malady, it profited all its 
erstwhile victims without distinction of colour or of cephalic 
index. From official documents relating to the death-rate in 
Sierra Leone from 1829 to 1836, it was seen that all maladies 
which swept away the population prevailed not only among the 
Whites, but also among the Blacks, who, it might be thought, 
would have been exempt from them. Both paid and still pay 
their frightful tribute to eruptive fevers as to paludal fevers, 
and to gastro-intestinal maladies as to those of the liver. 
"Dysentery and liver complaints prevail among Negroes as 
among Whites. Malignant fevers, which with these two last 
form the pathognomonic trilogy of Senegalese pathology, attack 
Europeans in preference, but the Blacks are far from being 
exempt" (Berchon). 

The sleeping fever, the latest of epidemic fevers in Africa, 
attacks Whites and Blacks equally. Cholera and the Plague 
do not bow before racial considerations, but strike all human 
beings with the same cruelty. What varies is the power of 
resistance which individuals oppose to the attacks of new 
maladies. Every disease when carried into new countries by 
contagion begins by making relatively more victims. After- 
wards, owing to a better organised resistance, and to a growing 
power of endurance, its deadly effects diminish to the habitual 
level. But it is ever a matter of changing conditions of 
milieu and not of irreducible and innate human qualities. 

I 2 


II. The Beauty of the Human Body 

The study of man as well as the comparison of human beings 
having been established and directed by white men, it follows 
that all the traits observed in and among Whites are thereby 
idealised and regarded as essentially superior. The idea of 
beauty being essentially subjective, there is nothing astonish- 
ing in the fact that everywhere and always, whenever Whites 
have been engaged in its definition, they should have borrowed 
its essentials from their immediate surroundings. Starting from 
this basis, they have declared all human types beautiful or 
ugly which approximate or diverge from formulas established 
by White artists and authors, from White exemplars. 

From ancient times we see conventional rules known as 
canons applied to the aesthetic estimate of human beings. 
Throughout all these "norms of beauty," many of which are 
to be found in Egypt, a master idea emerges to our view, 
namely, the unity of the human type. It is only in Albert 
Diirer that a diversity of specimens appears. It is he who first 
shows us the drawing of a negro dissimilar from the white 
type. All the same, it must not be forgotten that the canons 
of antiquity, like those of modern times, carried convention to 
the obvious contempt of reality. 

The Egyptians employed a canon dividing the human figure 
(if one may judge from the drawings found by Lepsius) into 
nineteen horizontal parts without counting the coiffure. The 
statue of Polycletus shows us the most popular canon in 
Greece. Let us recall, among other canons, those of Vitruvius 
(first centuries of Christianity), Alberti (Renaissance), Albert 
Diirer and Jean Cousin (15th and 16th centuries), and in 
more recent times those of Gerdy (1830), and of Que"telet (1870). 

The measurements of artists have preceded those of anthro- 
pologists by many centuries. Under their influence came the 
conception of artistic beauty, which has not failed to leave its 
traces on anthropological canons. 

We are born with certain sentiments of plastic beauty, 
engendered by tradition and the opinions of those who surround 
us. The sheepish nature of man rarely revolts against admitted 


ideas which often equal in force innate ideas. We find 
beautiful everything which those who are before us find 
beautiful, and especially the people called competent. This 
applies to women, pictures, and masterpieces of sculpture. 
Which of us has not admired the plastic beauty of Laocoon ? 
Yet his right leg is much shorter than the left, whereas, 
obviously to keep him company, one of his children has, on the 
contrary, a " more pronounced " righ '; leg. 

G. Audran l makes this curious remarfc, that in the most beauti- 
ful figures of antiquity details are found which would be readily 
regarded as faults if found in the work of a modern. Apollo, 
for example, has the left leg too long by about nine lines ; the 
Venus of Medici has the " curved " leg longer by about three lines 
than that on which she stands, &c. 

According to the canon established by Audran, which had 
a certain vogue in the 17th century, the head is divided into 
four parts : (1) from below the chin to beneath the nose ; (2) 
from beneath the nose to its top between the two eyebrows; 
(3) thence to the beginning of the hair on the forehead ; (4) to 
the crown of the head. Each of these four parts is divided 
into twelve lines. If, then, according to the measures of 
Audran, the right leg of the tall son of Laocoon is too (?) 
long by nine lines, it is seen that this divergence demands 
attention ! 

It may be said, therefore, that the ancients paid little 
attention to anatomical exactitude. They also followed the 
opinions of the day and gave to great men large foreheads 
and voluminous heads, because the gods were considered to have 
them. Nevertheless, nothing can be more false than the fore- 
heads of 90 to 100 degrees of Greek sculptors, which resemble 
hydrocephalic foreheads. The neck was thrown into relief and 
the limbs were made long and slender when nobility was to be 
indicated (Quetelet). Wide shoulders expressed force, whilst 
narrow shoulders symbolised youth or an effeminate character. 
At certain epochs the face of some eminent personage who 
set the fashion of the day appears, and under its influence 
all artists worked. Persons who provoked sympathy were 
benefited by analogous traits, whilst, as far as possible, a 
1 Lea Proportions du Corps humain. Paris, 1683. 


different physiognomy was given to slaves and foreigners. 
When it was desired to make portraits of conquerors, a " divine 
stamp " was bestowed upon them, together with all the con- 
ventional traits which spelt force and superiority. The schools 
which succeeded the Renaissance were inspired by the same 
sentiments, according to Topinard. In Italy forms were 
elongated to give dignity ; in Spain they were shortened to 
obtain delicacy ; in Holland they were made stout for realistic 
purposes ; whilst in France recently the head alone was exagge- 
rated in order to draw all the attention. 

When after having being fed with all these sensations of 
conventional beauty it is attempted to apply them to the 
variety of human types, we are unconsciously unjust with regard 
to those whose types are outside these limits. 

Nature, which takes no account of our canons of beauty, 
nearly always diverges from them. Not willing to regard as 
false our particular conceptions as to the proportions of the 
different parts of the body, we declare those which diverge from 
them to be ugly or inferior. 

For our modern canons, preached by all anthropologists, 
are all founded on the white man's observations. Among the 
best known we note those of Ch. Blanc and Gerdy. Both, 
however, are very similar to the anthropological canons. For 
Ch. Blanc, the length of the body equals 30 noses or 7 heads. 
For Gerdy, 32 noses and 8 heads. 1 

It is well understood that it is not a question here of 
speaking of any fixity. Since the height of the human body 
easily increases under the influence of conditions indicated 
above, it follows that the proportion of the different parts of 
the body can and must vary at the same time. Let us do 
justice to the more thoughtful anthropologists, who in face of 

1 This is the canon of Ch. Blanc (canon of the studios). Height, 100. 

( The crown to the hair's limit, J-head . . . 3 - 3 

TT j ) Hair to root of nose 33 

1 Root of nose to its base 3'3 

( Base of nose to below chin, -head .... 3'3 

Neck 6-6 

Trunk 30-0 

Lower limbs 50 - 




these changing characteristics are ready to acknowledge their 
small value. Topic ard even welcomes the doubtful fixity of 
these characteristics, inasmuch as it favours transformation. 
It shows us in particular (he says) that under their apparent 
immobility, human types are in a state of perpetual decom- 
position and composition. 

Bravo ! But the satisfaction which the learned author of 
I'Homme dans la Nature feels does not prevent other anthro- 
pologists, as well as ignorant people, from drawing conclusions 
from these canons which are prejudicial to all those human 
beings who evolve outside these rules. In this way the arms 
and feet of Negroes, which are too long in proportion to their 
bodies, are deemed a mark of inferiority bringing them near to 
apes. But according to Weisbach and other naturalists the 
Whites resemble ourang-outangs much more than the Negroes 
in this respect. It must be stated that Negroes and Australians 
have relatively the shortest trunk, and that they are further 
removed from the monkeys than any race in the human scale 
owing to the length of their arms and feet. It is the same in 
what concerns the corpulence of Negroes. As we saw above, 
a centimetre of height corresponds in the Negroes with about 
387 grams of weight as against 366 in the English (Gould). 
But here again the racial factor counts for nothing. From the 
researches of Majer among Germans, it follows that corpulence 
and relative weight depend especially on the kind of occupation 
in which individuals are engaged. According to him corpulence 
varies regularly with employment and goes from tailors, who are 
the lightest, to brewers, who are the heaviest. Next to these 
last come the carpenters, bakers, students, masons, locksmiths, 
weavers, bootmakers, &c., &c. 

There have been legends of people resembling monkeys. All 
the attempts to discover among living beings a race forming an 
intermediary link between man and monkey have remained 
unfruitful. What we know on the contrary is that nowhere 
does a people exist who approximate monkeys most and in all 
respects, as there is no people who diverge from monkeys in an 
exceptional degree in regard to all their traits. The different 
human types now approximate and now diverge from monkeys, 
as the conquests made by the explorers of the ship Novara 


have proved. The Negroes, whom it is desired to place at the 
bottom of the human scale, are in many respects much more 
removed from monkeys than the purest Whites. 

It is enough to confront human beings in their many aspects 
to perceive that nature does not recognise superior and inferior 
races. This gradation, which means nothing physiologically, is 
equally inadmissible aesthetically. 

The fable which is current on the subject of the tail attributed 
to savage or primitive peoples can be turned against the whites 
themselves. This anomaly, due to troubles in embryonic evolu- 
tion, is according to Bartels' studies especially frequent among 
the Whites, not that these are themselves " inferior, " but 
simply because of the special care given to the deformed, who 
among primitive peoples perish so easily, left as they are to 
their own resources. 

Negroes, who from all time have enjoyed the sorry privilege 
of passing as the race nearest the monkeys, have had the ad- 
vantage among other things of a defect with which certain 
anthropologists lightly reproach them. For, as Burmeister and 
so many others tell us, not only have they very long arms, but 
these even exceed the length of their lower limbs. It will 
be understood that under these conditions they would only 
have to use their hands to walk like monkeys. Place their 
front limbs at right angles on the ground with fingers 
stretched out, and behold, animals with four feet ! But this 
mirage of Negro-monkeys has vanished since impartial com- 
parisons have been started. Let us remember first of all that 
the length of the arms surpassing that of the legs among 
Negroes is a pure myth, and, what is more important, that 
the differences between races measured in this respect never 
exceed 8 - 9 per cent., whereas they attain 13'8 among the repre- 
sentatives of different professions in the same country. And if 
one persists absolutely in making this trait a mark of monkey ugli- 
ness, we must acknowledge, what Ranke confirms, namely, that 
the French and Germans are in this matter nearer the monkeys 
than Negroes, Australians or Bushmen. The English and 
French are on the same level as Negroes, whereas much below 
Negroes and other primitive peoples must be counted the 
Chinese. Among other aesthetic differences we must note that 


of the brasse (the extreme length of the two extended arms 
from point to point). But it has been proved that the measures 
obtained in this way cannot provide us with any appreciable 
result. According to the calculations of Gould, G. Schults, &c., 
the variations depend entirely on the professions in which the 
individuals are engaged, and are in every case insignificant 
among the various human types. Thus certain peasants of 
Northern Europe approximate the Negroes more than do the 
educated classes in the United States. 

Nor does the exact proportion between the arm and forearm 
give us any positive information. A simian sign has been seen 
wherever the arm is proportionably longer. But the results of 
comparative studies only show the fact that the whole human 
race resembles, in this respect, gorillas and mammifers. 

The proportional length of the neck, which is deemed a sign 
of beauty, often varies among races. But still more does it vary 
among different social classes according to their daily occupations. 

In general, as we study human beings in the matter of 
regularity and harmony of features, we perceive the great 
influence exercised by their daily occupations. Gould, in com- 
paring bodily proportions among divers representatives of the 
American people, states that there are greater differences 
between sailors, agriculturists and men of culture than between 
Negroes, Redskins and Whites. 

Baelz points out the same thing among the Japanese. Those of 
the upper classes are distinguished by length of arm, which is 
equivalent to 43'8 of the bodily height; among workmen it 
reaches 42*6, which confirms Gould's theory that length of arm 
depends on the occupation, and reaches its maximum among 

G. d'Harcourt also brings forward a number of measurements 
made on Arabs which prove that they are much nearer civilised 
people than primitive Negroes. Their arm and forearm, like 
their legs, are much shorter than those of Negroes. Not with- 
out cause, for are not the Arabs nearer to us in the matter of 
culture ? 

Ranke 1 even thinks it possible to divide humanity into three 
categories, not according to colour or form of skull, but accord- 
Der Mensch. Vol. IL 


ing to mode of life and occupation. In the first category there 
would be women, who generally evolve outside the usual 
occupations of men ; then people engaged in mechanical work 
and the unemployed ; thirdly, those who only work with the 
brain. To these three divisions would correspond the relative 
lengths of the trunk, neck, arms, lower limbs, development of 
chest and muscular force, &c., &c. 

Thus it is that nearly everywhere among the Whites and 
primitive men the woman's constitution, is like that of a child 
rather than that of a full-grown man, and that among civilised 
peoples the intellectual classes, quite apart from the colour of 
skin, are distinguished by a relatively longer trunk, shorter 
extremities and more voluminous head. We see, according to 
results obtained by Weisbach in his measurements of the 
diverse peoples who comprise the Austrian Empire, how little 
racial origins influence the proportions of the different bodily 
limbs among peoples living in identical conditions of civilisation 
or comfort. The intellectual classes among the Magyars, the 
Uralo- Altaic peoples, the Slavs or the Germanic races, furnish 
us with identical measures of trunk, extremities, &c., whereas 
individuals of the same race differ considerably when once 
distinctly separated by their occupations. 

Another no less curious fact is that the measurements of 
Austrian Jews correspond entirely with those which Gould men- 
tions in the case of cultured persons in the United States. But, 
as we know, the Austrian Jews engage almost in no mechanical 
work, but are almost exclusively employed as usurers and small 
shopkeepers, or figure as lawyers and doctors. On the other 
hand, the Caucasian Jews (J. Tcherny's measurements) corre- 
spond in this respect with other inhabitants of Southern Russia, 
whose occupation they share. 

The attempt has also been made to condemn Negroes for the 
exaggerated projection of their heels, and again this trait, which 
is considered typical, loses all its significance with the changing 
of the conditions of milieu. On the west coast of Africa we 
come across numerous negro tribes whose feet are analogous to 
ours in every respect. The same applies to numerous Negroes 
in the United States, where no trace of such heels is found. 
Flat feet also, with which so many Negroes are endowed, are 


brought forward as a sign of ugliness. But, strictly speaking, 
we only meet with this phenomenon among Negroes condemned 
from infancy to bear heavy burdens. Here also it is only a 
matter of a professional trait, for we find the same flat feet 
among Whites whose business compels them to bear crushing 
burdens with bare feet. 

It even follows from Gould's tables, who examined several 
thousands of Black Americans, that the mean diameter of their 
feet is greater than that of agricultural labourers in the United 
States. These are the proportions furnished by Gould. In 
taking 100 as the dimension of the body, the curve of the feet 
in different American professions was : labourer, 3'83 ; Indian, 
3'94 ; Negro, 4'04 ; the cultured, 4'09. 

On the other hand, Negroes could boast their superior 
development of chest. According to our ideas of beauty, what 
contributes to enhance our aesthetic value is the difference of 
the diameters of chest, hips, and waist. Now in this respect 
numerous negro tribes surpass the English themselves. 

We close our enumeration of aesthetic characteristics with 
the particular odour emitted by certain peoples and races. 
For a long time it was thought that white men were exempt 
from this, but now we have to admit a strong smell peculiar to 
white skins, a smell which the Japanese declare to be insupport- 
able. There is something extremely funny in these mutual 
reproaches as to odour among human beings. The missionary 
Hue affirms that he could recognise the Tibetans, Chinese, 
Arabs, Hindoos, Negroes and Tartars by their smell. We can 
go further and state that every milieu gives a particular odour 
to those subjected to its influence. If the subtle differences 
of these odours escape us, they do not therefore cease to have 
a real existence. 

Thus a specific odour accompanies each human agglomeration, 
or rather each individual. This odour being only the result of 
our mode of life, which comprises all external and internal 
influences, and includes our nourishment, varies naturally accord- 
ing to the change of our mode of life. African Negroes, whose 
pronounced odour produces nausea in many Europeans, lose 
this peculiarity when transplanted into other climates and sub- 
mitted to the conditions of life which prevail among the Whites. 


Americans no longer complain of odour among certain 
Negroes, not because they have lost the capacity of smelling 
it, but merely because the Negroes who surround them have 
entirely lost it. They no doubt exhale another odour like that 
of their neighbours, for which reason these last are no longer 
affected by it. 


WHEN, after comparing different human types aesthetically, 
we wish to draw any conclusions, we soon perceive their inanity. 
It would be vain, Broca tells us, to wish to establish a series of 
progressive types from the primitive or savage man to the 
White. Always and everywhere we see the same phenomenon. 
People are seen beautiful and ugly at the same time, or rather 
they are only beautiful and ugly according to our subjective ideas. 
What is more important is that humanity varies in particular 
according to degree of culture. In short, human beings could 
be divided into two leading types, civilised and primitive. 
Regarded in this way and studied with reference to the influence 
of milieu, individual modifications display their secret sources. 
Above all are they seen as the products of a mode of life and of 
a progressive mentality. The more our life is seen as logically 
related to the needs of our organism, the more does it evolve 
harmoniously and attain full development. But high intellectual 
culture is in no way synonymous with aesthetic beauty, for the 
abuse of intellectual work has on the contrary produced a 
deterioration of the physiological type among many civilised 
peoples. It is only a life wherein the needs of our body and 
the aspirations of our soul are well balanced which can procure 
for the human type that degree of perfectibility which is 

The radiant future, therefore, which opens out vast hopes for 
the humanity of to-morrow, summons humanity as a whole. It 
leaves out no single variety, for they are all equally dear to the 
eternal principle of things. 






THE facts previously analysed have demonstrated that the 
differences established between human beings are only of 
secondary importance. We might describe them as a kind of 
alluvial soil which circumstances have carried down and which 
circumstances will carry away. Over and above all these 
modifications of lesser importance, which have appeared with 
time and owing to special influences, there always and every- 
where breaks out the fundamental identity of man. All those 
who have been hypnotised by these distinctive traits, and who 
have confined themselves to contemplating them without ever 
rising to the idea of human unity, remind us somewhat of those 
visitors to the zoological gardens of whom the moralist speaks. 
They saw there all sorts of insects, but they did not see the 
kings and giants of the animal world, lions and elephants. 

Man, like all organic beings, is subject to the influence of the 
milieu, the factor which dominates all the transformations 
which take place in nature. Besides this force, acting slowly 
during an interminable number of centuries by way of modi- 
fication, there is another which seems to modify its influence 
in working by way of preservation. 

This second force is heredity, owing to which acquired 
characteristics tend to persist in the rising generations. In 
these two influences, centrifugal and centripetal, are con- 
densed the principal elements in the evolution of living matter. 
We have seen in the theoretical part of this work that, 
according to the neo-Darwinians, there is a special cause, 



apart from these factors, which revolutionises beings and occa- 
sions the birth of new genera or races, and species, namely, 
sudden varieties. These, which play so important a part in the 
animal and vegetable world, do not manifest themselves among 
human beings. If monstrous and exceptional forms do appear 
among them, they are only found in isolated cases, and disappear 
with those who unfortunately possess them. 

We shall see later on what conclusions we may draw from it. 
But whatever may be the influence of this new factor, which 
seems to triumph in evolutionary science, it is incontestable 
that even sudden variety, as well as heredity, undergoes the 
dominating influence of the milieu, which is the trunk of the 
tree, the other influences being only the branches. In order 
that the milieu should exercise its manifold action, which works 
in every direction, it is necessary above everything else that the 
definitions of it should cover a vast field of action. For us it 
includes the sum total of the conditions which accompany the 
conception and earthly existence of a being, and which end 
only with its death. 

It is thus that the climateric conditions, the composition of 
the soil, the social, political and intellectual life, and the 
material comforts, play a distinct part in the definite expression 
of the milieu. At the risk of changing the nature of its real 
influence, we must not exclude from it any one of the thousands 
of factors which compose it, just as it is impossible to banish its 
action at the time of the germination and evolution of the 
embryo. As we ascend in the scale of living beings, the milieu, 
which reacts on their existence, becomes more and more complex. 
That of an entozoon does not go outside the body of the animal 
in which it lives. That of a water plant is virtually confined to 
its native ditch. 1 The beings who live at the bottom of the sea 
act under the influence of a much more restricted milieu than 
that of beings found on the surface of the earth, for, to use 
Spencer's expression, they are affected by a smaller number of 
co -existences and of sequences than earthly beings. The 
acalepha carried by running water, compared with the caterpillar 
obliged to struggle against the force of gravity, shows clearly the 

1 Herbert Spencer, Principes de Bidogie (French translation. Paris, Felix 


narrowness of the milieu in the case of the one when compared 
with that in which the other moves. Compare again the life of 
insects with that of birds, the latter with that of animals and 
men, and we shall see how complicated the milieu becomes with 
the evolution of beings. The progress of external causes which 
fashion the individual, evolve thus in a sort of mathematical 
progression. It is enough to consider the life of a man in order 
to see that the milieu, or rather the number of milieux on which 
he depends, attains a fabulous figure. The complete physiological 
life is above everything else the result of incalculable causes, 
and its processes of nutrition and respiration alone involve 
thousands of millions of causes and influences. Let us add the 
social, moral, and political milieu, which, when analysed, 
represent by themselves unimaginable numbers of elements. 

The milieu acts also on the intra-uterine or intra-ovarian 
existence, just as much as in the case of an individual already 
formed. In changing the milieu, the nature itself of certain 
beings is radically changed. Let us remember on this subject 
the convincing experiments of M. A. Chauveau. He succeeded 
in rendering the carbon bacteria inoffensive. In other words, 
this experimenter succeeded in depriving it of all its virulent 
properties by submitting it to the influence of hyper-oxygen- 
ation, that is to say, by modifying the milieu of its natural 
evolution. It has even been possible to fix these new charac- 
teristics so as to produce a distinct race. These character- 
istics, thus acquired, become permanent, and by ordinary culture 
continue to exist in successive generations. After having 
deprived the microbe of its virulence, M. A. Chauveau 
succeeded afterwards in revivifying the same virulence by the 
addition of blood to bouillon culture. 1 With the modification of 
the milieu, success is in this way achieved in artificial trans- 
formation in pathogenetic microbiology. In a further extension 
of the action of cultures under hyper-oxygenation, one might 
perhaps succeed in creating species radically distinct from 
B. carbon. Thanks to micro-biology and artificial cultures, we 
can utilize this influence of the milieu in a very striking way. 
It is especially manifest in cryptogamia, which show a prodigious 
facility in the multiplication and succession of generations. 

1 A. Chauveau, A rch. de Mid. experiment, et d' anatomic pathologique. 1889. 

K 2 


M. Laurent l has shown that the Cladosporum herbarium mush- 
room can, according to the manner in which it is cultivated, 
show seven different conditions. 

Flourens succeeded in giving a red colour to the bones of a 
female mammifer's foetus by mixing madder-root with its food. 
Cost caused certain trout to be born which had lost the 
characteristic coloration of their race, by placing the spawn of a 
salmon trout in water which only nourished white trout. 

Examples of this influence abound in all spheres of organic 
life, and we shall never be able to quote enough. M. Decaisne, 
after having cultivated in the Museum of Natural History at 
Paris seven divers forms of plantain, considered to be good 
species, found them after a few generations changed into a single 
form. It is enough to compare the action of argillo-silicious 
and argillo-calcareous soils in order to see the influence which 
these exercise on seeds. Whereas the first, cold and rich in 
silicates, only produces insipid plants and mediocre herbs, the 
other, owing to the calcareous elements which prevail there, 
favours great fecundity and gives beautiful and vigorous plants. 

In France, for the same reason, when one goes from Normandy 
to Maine, from the plains of Poitou to the hills of Limousin, 
from Causse of Rodez to Segala, from Burgundy to Morvan, 
from the banks of the Loire to the land crossed by the Clayette 
and Chauffailles, we see rich cultivation disappear, sometimes 
almost suddenly. 2 The same phenomenon is to be seen in the 
animal world. Often in the same valley, divided by a little 
river, where on one side there is silicious soil and on the other 
calcareous, the cattle, horses, and sheep seem to be from different 
lands and of different origin. On one side big, fat, and strong 
animals, and on the other feeble and small. 

1 Annales de VInstitut Pasteur. 1888. 

* Prof. Magne, Traitd pratique d' Agriculture. 



In the living matter of plants we only find the inanimate, that 
is, mineral elements, for the vegetable matter is only a mass of 
inorganic composites. If inorganic matter furnishes plants with 
the.principal sources of alimentation (Liebig), it is the same also 
in animal and man. This fact has been ignored for centuries, 
but it begins to triumph even in what concerns human beings. 
We note, for example, that in the department of 1'Aveyron the 
inhabitants as well as the domestic animals are divided into two 
clearly marked types which correspond with the two great 
geological divisions of the district, silicious and calcareous. In 
the first, man and sheep are of small stature and frail bones, 
whilst in the second both are of greater height and of massive 

With these geological differences of habitat correspond also 
equally marked contrasts as to the formation and soundness of 
the teeth, the moral character of the people, and even the pro- 
nunciation of the native idiom. 

Whereas the Aveyronian from the country of sterile soil, rye, 
chestnuts and cider has bad teeth, slender and sometimes frail 
form and very low stature, the inhabitant of Causse, a calcareous 
country, is remarkably well developed and has teeth lasting 
generally as long as the individual himself. 

Delpon 1 tells us that in the ward of Figeac (department ot 
Lot), whereas the inhabitants of the calcareous and fertile 
plateau of the canton of Livernon are strong, vigorous, and have 
a mean height of 1 metre 632, those of the mountainous canton 
of Latronquiere, with a granite and sterile soil producing only 
rye, buckwheat, potatoes, and chestnuts, are remarkable for their 
narrow shoulders, tight chests, and lymphatic temperament, 
and attain their maximum height only at twenty-two or three, 
which height is on an average about 1m. 599, decreasing to 1m. 
579 in the commune of Montet. Lagneaux has shown that in 
granitic countries which lack phosphate, animals, plants and men 
do not attain their normal height. 

1 Stat. du Dep. du Lot. VoL 1. 


Costa 1 states that defect of stature is particularly common in 
poor cantons like Salice, Bocognano, Omessa, Serra, &c. 

When we ascend very high mountains we perceive that plants, 
animals and men become less and less strong and robust. The 
most important organs are often attacked. The number of the 
sepals, petals and stamens even, is often reduced (Gubler), and 
the disposition of the veins of leaves is modified. Thus it is 
that the composition of the soil and especially its mineralisation 
influence the form and vitality of living beings. If man contains 
relatively less mineral than animals in the same way as these 
last contain less than plants, he is nevertheless strongly mineral- 
ised. According to the calculations of M. J. Gaube, 2 the human 
body, representing a weight of 68 kilograms, is composed as 
follows : water, 44*66 kg. ; organic matters, 21 '30 kg. ; mineral 
matter, 2'04 kg., which gives about 3 per cent, of minerals. 
We thus understand the importance of lime, soda, iron and 
potash for living organisms. 

Take the example quoted by Gaube of a female hare submitted 
to a nourishment which was poor in mineral matters. The birth 
lasts a very long time, the little ones only attain half or a third 
of their habitual size, their skin is glabrous or gelatinous, their 
limbs scarcely set, their upper and lower incisive teeth are lack- 
ing, and their mortality shows a very high percentage. 

If potassium plays a preponderant rdle in plants, the same 
applies in the case of sodium for man. He needs every day at 
least one decigram for every kilogram of his weight. This ex- 
plains the importance of salt in the human organism. Vege- 
tarians who nourish themselves with food containing relatively 
little, are obliged to add it to their nourishment in a more 
palpable form. To perceive the importance of sodium, it is 
sufficient to note the jeopardy in which the health of a man or 
animal deprived of it is placed. Here, as elsewhere, nature 
opens an account with us, and we must at whatever cost balance 
our debit and credit side at the risk of compromising our health 
for ever. If every European loses annually on an average ten 
kilograms of sodium, he makes it good by absorbing twelve 
kilograms of sea salt or chloride of sodium. But potassium is 

1 Rec. de med. mil. Vol. XXIX. Jiecrut. de la Corn. 
* Court de min^ralogit biologique. 4 vols. 


also very useful to us. It is indispensable for the economy of 
our blood, for it is favourable to oxidations in renewing the 
hemoglobine. Certain ferments like the pancreatic diastasis, 
which we know to be most important to human life, depend on 
it directly. 

The importance of iron is no less great. It would be enough 
to eliminate the few grams of iron which the organism contains 
in order to arrest its development and cause death. The blood, 
which is too much impoverished by the excessive diminution of 
this mineral matter, becomes deficient and death ensues. The 
same applies to manganese and sulphur, &c. In one word, 
minerals play a considerable part in the life of organic beings. 
They exercise their influence before birth, and never cease after- 
wards to traverse the vital functions of the organism in every 
sense and in all directions. 

The following is a curious observation contributed by a 
French agriculturist, M. J. Bonhomme. If from a stable on the 
mountain of Guiole or Aubrac (basaltic soil), he tells us, twelve 
bulls of thirty months are taken which resemble one another as 
much as possible, and if they are divided into three lots, one of 
which remains on the mountain, another on the Causse 
(calcareous), and the third on the Levezeu (gneissic), three 
years afterwards the three lots coming together again would be 
found so different that they would seem to belong to three dis- 
tinct varieties. Those which remain on the mountain are short, 
their limbs and head of medium thickness, and they are 
altogether of good proportion. The lot on the Causse are 
larger with strong bones. The lot of Levezeu have acquired 
height and length with fine head and remarkably small limbs 
and feet. 

The plant Hypericum crispum of Sicily is only poisonous 
when it grows in marshes (Lecce), where in consequence its roots 
are nourished in a special way. 

Now the causes which occasion the variability of living beings 
act on the adult organism, the embryo, and probably also on the 
sexual elements before fecundation. 1 Let us remember on this 
subject that mice, naturally prolific, become completely sterile 
when nourished on elements lacking in magnesia. 

1 Darwin, DC la variation des animaux et dea plantes. 


The importance of mineral matters for our organism appears 
from this fact that since we are perpetually losing them, the 
organic equilibrium necessitates their being replaced. They 
pass off especially by the kidneys (urine), but also by the hair, 
nails, nasal mucus, tears, &c. The hair is very rich in minerals. 
In its composition are found sulphur, lime, potash, silica, 
magnesia, iron, soda, silver, arsenic and even copper. 

According to the calculations of J. Gaube, the nearly 14 
millions of adult women in France carry in their hair about 
630,000 kilograms of mineral matters. According to this author, 
the mean quantity of hair weighs 300 grains. Now of these 
300 grams, each woman loses about 10 centigrams every day, 
which makes 511,000 kilograms for the sum total of women 
during a year. This half-million of kilograms, if we admit that 
the hair contains 15 per cent, of its weight in minerals, restores 
thus to the earth annually 75,000 kilograms of mineral 

If the mineral which we lose through the nails is not as 
considerable, it nevertheless counts for something in the 
economy of the organism. According to the estimate of the 
same savant, each one of us in cutting the nails gives back to 
the soil every year 64 centigrams of minerals. 

The influence of mineral matters is closely connected with 
that of alimentation in general. Inasmuch as the fertility of 
the soil depends especially on its mineral composition, the 
difficulty of separating these two factors is easily understood. 
We have seen how the mineral composition of the soil reacts on 
the height and health of animals and persons. This suscepti- 
bility of living beings who are affected by the influence of 
external elements is still more manifest when we consider 
the influence effected by nutrition. The vigour of vegetation 
and the abundance of herbaceous nourishment in the miocene 
epoch had no doubt much to do with the large number of 
colossal forms which are found among the herbivorous animals 
(Cornevin). Nathusius, who on this matter has studied the 
pig, shows that abundance of food radically transforms the 
body of this animal and causes the enlargement of its head and 

Nutrition also influences the essential peculiarities of 


animals and plants. According to Wallace, the natives of the 
Amazon feed the ordinary green parrot with the fat of big 
Siluroid fish, with the result that it becomes streaked with 
yellow and red feathers. 

Darwin affirms that bullfinches and certain other birds fed 
with hempseed become black, whilst caterpillars nourished on 
different kinds of food produce butterflies of different colours. 


As the different parts of our organism are compactly knit 
together, it is difficult to study the influence of milieu on any 
particular organ. On the other hand, the milieu is not only 
very complex, but its constitutive elements are intermixed, and 
operate at one time with very regular harmony and logical 
sequence, and at another time, and that most often, simul- 

Thus the mineral composition of the soil reacts on alimenta- 
tion just as this last depends on climate, heat, the degree 
of electricity with which the air is impregnated, and the 
geological constitution of the district, which all react fatally on 
the productivity of agriculture. Alimentation, the salubrity of 
a country and the health of inhabitants are in their turn closely 
connected with agricultural progress. 

Wherefore instead of stopping at the partial influence of any 
particular cause in the milieu, let us rather study its action 
on the organism as a whole. The examples which we propose 
to quote somewhat abundantly will render evident one of the 
truths which we shall afterwards summon to the aid of our 
leading idea. 

Climate acts directly on man and animals. Let us borrow a 
number of curious facts from Darwin, Quatrefages, and many 
other of the most circumspect naturalists. It has been shown 
that bulldogs, introduced into India, lose at the end of a few 
generations, not only their ferocity and vigour, but also the 
characteristic development of their lower jaw. Their snout 
also becomes more pointed and their body lighter. On the 
coast of Guinea, dogs, according to Basman, undergo strange 
modifications. Their ears become long and stiff like those of a 


fox, and after three or four litters the barking disappears for a 
kind of howl. According to Pallas, the Kirghiz sheep changes 
after a few generations in Russia, its mass of fat gradually 
diminishing. The degree of heat of the temperature affects 
the wool of sheep to such an extent that those taken from 
Europe into the West Indies lose all their wool except that on 
the loins, in the third generation. The exceedingly rich varia- 
tions of races and species in the animal and vegetable world 
are especially the result of climatic influences. At Saint 
Dominic wild dogs are as large as greyhounds (Col. Hans 
Smith), whilst at Cuba dogs which have returned to a wild 
state are nearly all of mouse colour. 

Living in islands is not favourable to height. In the island 
of Gomera (Canary Isles) there are found cattle which, though 
of the same race as that of the other islands of this archipelago, 
are smaller. The horses of this islet, though of the Andalusian 
type, are only as high as ponies. 1 

At Malta a fossil elephant was discovered, the height of 
which at the adult age was not over 75 centimetres. Strabo 
relates that in this island was formed the famous dwarf dog so 
popular among Romans. 

We find in Cornevin's works numerous proofs of this 
immediate climatic influence on the height of animals. 

In Corsica, he tells us, horses and cattle are of very small 
height. Stags also are smaller here than anywhere else, so 
that mammalogists have made a special species of them, viz. 
Cervus corsicanus. It is a descendant, however, of the Cervus 
elaphus of Europe, since there did not exist, according to the 
testimony of Polybius, any stags in Corsica two centuries before 
our era. 

In 1764 Spanish horses were taken into the Falkland Islands, 
and their descendants have so much degenerated as to have 
become unfit to ride. 

The milieu with its atmospheric conditions also reacts on the 
colour of animals. Marshall, in his curious study on the color- 
ation of animals? says that light is the chief stimulant in 
exciting the development of colouring matter. Let us note on 

1 See the studies of Verneau in the Revue. d'Anthrop. 1887. 
8 Revw Scientifigue. 1885. 


this subject the experiments of Paul Bert on the larvae of the 
axolotl. They are pale when emerging from the egg and 
become coloured by the deposit of pigment under the influence 
of light, whereas in darkness or in a red light the pigment is not 

If this phenomenon is more closely examined, it must be 
acknowledged that the least refrangible rays of the spectrum 
have no influence on the production of pigment. By the 
rapidity, therefore, and not by the extent of the vibrations, 
does light act on the fermentation of colouring matter. It has 
been proved, among other things, that the proximity of the sea 
has the effect of darkening. In Switzerland it is generally 
believed that the colour of cattle pales through permanent 
stabling or through sojourning in the lowlands. If, on the 
other hand, the cattle are made to sojourn at certain altitudes, 
their colour becomes darker. The same remarks apply to 
France. The brown beasts of the Righi pale at the end of a 
few years' sojourn in the valley of the Sa&ne. The mammifers 
brought from the Asiatic steppes by Prjevalsky had a fawn 
or pale yellow tint, which was the result of the solar rays 
which had decoloured their hair, owing in particular to the 
absence of trees which would have mitigated the intense heat 
of the sun. 

In Java there lives in thick and semi-dark jungles a black 
panther (d'Abbadie). In Angora, not only the goats but also 
the sheepdogs and cats have fine and woolly hair. In the 
West Indies the sheep change their fleece at the end of three 
generations. Among several species of birds, the colour, size 
of body and beak, and also the length of tail differ from north 
to south. Weismann has observed the same phenomenon 
among butterflies. Wasserzug has shown that under the 
influence of heat the nature of certain bacilli can be radically 
changed. They can be given a permanent form different from 
their original form. Let us take, for example, the micrococcum 
cyanogenum, the bacillus of skimmed milk. Normally, the first 
cultivation in veal broth is a micrococcus. When submitted for 
five minutes to a temperature of 50 and a small quantity is 
taken after cooling and put in a suitable broth slightly alkaline, 
development begins. Let this second culture and the succeeding 


ones be also submitted to a temperature of 50, and at the end 
of a certain number of generations the micrococcic form will 
have disappeared for a bacillary one, the solidity of which is 
relative to the number of cultures so treated. 

Beaton states that he obtained by seed during six years 
at Shrubland, 20,000 plants of Pelargonium Punch without 
observing a single instance of streaked leaves, whereas at Sur- 
biton, in Surrey, more than a third of the plants of the same 
variety had streaked leaves. The root of the Aconitum napdlus 
becomes inoffensive in very cold climates. The Pistacia lentiscus 
gives no resin in the south of France. Hemp in England does 
not produce that resinous matter which it does in the Indies, 
and which is used for the making of narcotic substances. Dr. 
Falconez saw an apple tree of English variety, a Himalayan 
oak, a plum tree, and a pear tree assume the appearance of a 
pyramid or tiara in the hottest parts of India. The Rhododen- 
dron ciliatum cultivated in Kew Gardens, near London, pro- 
duces much larger and paler flowers than those which it produces 
in the Himalayan mountains, where it is indigenous. Certain 
species of planted vines vary in different countries as regards the 
colour of the fruit and period of maturity, c. 


The decisive influence of the milieu on the coloration of plants 
and animals has been stated and proved. If science does not 
often give us the key to the enigma, that is to say, the wherefore 
of certain effects of coloration, it is because the milieu is very 
complex, and that apart from the sun there are other innumer- 
able factors which contribute to the result. Electricity with 
which the atmosphere is charged, the heat and humidity of the 
air and nutriment, are so many elements which often act simul- 
taneously and whose particular parts are difficult to distinguish 
and define. The important point for us is to prove beyond dis- 
pute the violent modification of colouring under the action of 
outside factors. It was pretended that Wagner had succeeded 
by the aid of electric currents in changing the colour and the dis- 
position of the pigment in the wings of certain butterflies just as 
many American physicians have succeeded (so we are told) in 
modifying by electricity the colour of the negro skin. These 


facts appear very doubtful, but what is certain is that we soon 
succeed in colouring in a very vivid way the fry of ordinary red 
fish which originate in China, by placing the aquariums which 
hold them in overheated rooms (Lortet). The effects of the 
European climate on American varieties of plants are very 
remarkable (Darwin). Metzger has sown and cultivated in 
Germany grains of maize from various parts of America, and the 
following among others are the changes observed in one of the 
tall variety (Zea altissima), which comes from one of the hottest 
parts of the New World. During the first year the plants attain 
the height of 12 feet but only produce a small number of 
ripe grains. The lower grains of the ear preserve their proper 
form, but the upper grains show certain changes. In the second 
generation the plants produce more ripe grains but do not 
exceed in height 8 or 9 feet. The depression in the outer 
part of the grains disappears, and their colour, originally pure 
white, becomes somewhat tarnished. In the third generation 
they hardly resemble the original and very distinct form of the 
American maize. Finally, in the sixth generation, this maize 
is the same as the European variety. 

The pine of Scotland has few varieties in its native country, 
but it suffices to cultivate it elsewhere for a few generations in 
order to see how modified it becomes in appearance, foliage, form, 
thickness, and even in the colour of its cones. The pollen dust 
of petunias, collected before its complete maturity and isolated 
or simply heated, communicates to the flowers which have issued 
from the plants which it has fecundated, colorations which the 
original stock does not possess. 

The brilliant coloration of certain animals living at great 
depths in the sea seems in appearance to contradict the in- 
fluence of the sun and the light. But even in this case, where 
the milieu does not lose its rights, we must admit with Marshall 
that light exercises its influence in spite of this apparent con- 
tradiction, for water stops, it is true, the least refringent light, 
but it allows blue light to pass. Now the red rays are useless 
for the development of colouring matter. As for very great 
depths, it is possible that the obscure rays of ultra-violet, per- 
haps even those of violet and blue, succeed in acting on the 
development of colouring matter, being of great efficacy by 
reason of the rapidity of their vibrations. 


But let us pass on to the examples furnished more particularly 
by man. 

As the same laws govern the evolution of organic beings, man 
also is subject to the influences of milieu. Under its action man 
varies like animals and plants, and if this action remains 
uniform and stable, the changes thus acquired remain 

According to Virchow, the milieu wherein a person lives 
makes him brown or fair. Pruner 1 has shown that Europeans 
dwelling in Egypt become darker at the end of a certain time ; 
in Abyssinia they develop a bronze tint ; in the highlands of 
Syria a reddish tint, &c. 

According to Waitz, 2 the colour of the skin is especially due 
to heat, nourishment, atmospheric humidity, the abundance or 
scarcity of forests, and also geographical latitude. The Negroes 
of Bongo have skins nearly red from the colour of the soil of 
their country, which is impregnated with iron ore. According 
to Livingstone, the humid heat deepens the coloration of the 
Negro populations of Africa, and Simpson 3 affirms the same as 
to the Jews, whose complexion varies from the white of 
Caucasian races to the black of Negroes. 

D'Abbadie affirms that in Abyssinia the colour of the popu- 
lations darkens as one ascends the plateaus and pales towards 
the plains. 

Escayrac de Lauture maintains that the Arabs of light skin, 
whom we meet in places which enjoy a temperate climate, 
assume at Mecca a dark yellow shade, and even lose their 
aquiline nose and the characteristic traits which distinguish the 
Bedouins. At Yemen, on the other hand, their noses regain 
the plastic beauty of Greek noses. In the south of Damascus 
they become short in stature and are marked by a scanty head 

hair. In Nubia Arabs are found who are quite black though 
they never mix in marriage with the Negroes of the place. 4 

G. Pouchet 5 attributes to sunburn a preponderant influence 
in the coloration of the skin. 

But then the sunburn is not in direct relationship with the 

1 Die Krankheiten des Orients. 

3 Anthropologie der Naturvolker. 

s Narrative of a Journey round the World. 

4 Prichard, Natural History of Man, 4th voL 
6 Des colorations de I'epiderme. 


intensity of the sun's rays, for, according to this author, the sun 
burns as strongly in Central Europe in March and April as in 
July and August. These peculiarities of climate are also 
noticeable in the island of Reunion, the atmosphere of which 
makes fair instead of dark, so that many Creoles are very fair 
in this place. 

The differences among the Yakoutes living in diverse coun- 
tries, Waitz tells us, are altogether striking. They vary in 
height, colour of skin, and even in form of skull. The same 
applies to the Tchouktchi. 

It is ordinarily admitted that the Bushmen are descended from 
the Hottentots, as indeed their language shows. But the differ- 
ences which separate them are considerable. The Bushmen are 
in the first place much darker than the Hottentots, and remind 
us of the Guinean Negroes. But whereas the first live in woods, 
the Hottentots are nomadic shepherds, and live in steppes. From 
this manner of living, including difference of nourishment and 
habitations and occupations, a number of dissimilarities which 
radically separate the two peoples originates. People have 
wished to see in Bushmen a race quite apart, the most monstrous 
and almost the intermediary link between men and monkeys. 
Their excessive thinness and the remarkable smalmess of their 
height involve no ineluctable fatality. It is all explained by 
hunger! The Laplanders, likewise famished, resemble the 
unfortunate Bushmen in height and thinness, for the chronic 
insufficiency of food produces quite a number of analogous 
phenomena between these two humanitypes, who live, however, 
in countries so diverse. Virchow, in speaking of these races, 
which he regards as pathological, undermined and ravaged by 
hunger, places them both in the same category. It is enough 
to observe the rare specimens of Bushmen at the Cape, who, 
being well nourished, are changed in aspect and stature, to see 
what a single element, viz. nourishment, can effect in the 
appearance of man. 

The milieu sometimes reacts suddenly on the physiological 
characteristics of man, as Quatrefages proves. After eight years 
of slavery among the Yucatanians, whose costume and mode of 
life he had been constrained to adopt, Jerome d'Aguilar, the 
interpreter of Cortez, could no longer be distinguished from the 
natives. Langsdorf found at Noukahiva an English sailor whom 


the sojourn of many years in that island had made entirely like 
a Polynesian. 

In the case of Negroes brought into Europe, the colour becomes 

Under our eyes we behold a new human variety called the 
Anglo- or rather the Europeo-American l race. As race it is as 
distinct and as well characterised as any other human race 

Todds 2 tells us that the true Yankee is to be distinguished 
from the Englishman by the pointed and angular cut of his face. 
He approaches the aborigines of America, and is also marked by 
this characteristic trait that the lower part of his face is almost 
square, as opposed to the oval form of the Englishman. Knox 
has noticed among the Yankees the diminution of the adipose 
tissue and the glandular apparatus, whilst Desor mentions a 
lengthening of the neck. 

Pruner-Bey states that the Anglo-American shows from the 
second generation characteristics of the Indian type which 
bring him near to the Lenni-Lenapes, Iroquois and Cherokees. 
Later on the glandular system is reduced to the minimum of its 
normal development. The skin becomes dry like leather, 
losing its glow of complexion and redness of cheek, which are 
replaced by a muddy tint and among women by an insipid 
pallor. The head becomes smaller and rounder or pointed, 
being covered with hair, smooth and dark in colour. The neck 
lengthens. There is observed a large development of the 
zygomatic bones. The eyes sink deeply into the sockets and 
are somewhat close to each other. The iris is dark. The bones 
become particularly elongated at their upper extremity, so much 
so that France and England manufacture a peculiar kind of 
glove for North America, the fingers of which are exceptionally 

The pelvis of the woman becomes like that of the man. And 
whilst Jarrold recognises this influence of milieu even in their 

1 A. Murray, The Oeographical Distribution of Mammals. 
3 Cyd. of Anal, and Physiol. IV. 


unmelodious voice, 1 Kriegk 2 dwells on their thinness and 
pallor and also on their precocious development physically and 

The same phenomenon of the transformation of a people 
under the influence of milieu is observable much nearer home, 
in Paris and among the Parisians. Mauouvrier 3 and Topinard 4 
state that in general the youths of the poor quarters are 
of lower average height than the youths of the rich quarters. 

Boudin, Gratiolet and Champouillon notice this fact, that the 
descendants of Parisians die out after a few generations. 
Not only is a notable lowering of stature to be seen among 
them, 6 but also signs of scrofula, frequent deformations of the 
spine, limbs and skeleton of face, especially the upper jaw bone. 
In spite of the multiplicity and the persistence of his researches, 
this author has never been able to find, or only as the rarest 
exception, Parisians of the fifth generation ; he is careful to add 
that even these do not reproduce themselves but die young. 

Let us imagine for an instant the city of Paris abandoned to 
its own resources of existence from the point of view of the 
quality of the population. We shall then witness the degenera- 
tion of a people which we do not fail to regard as a separate 
race, and all the more so in that so many external qualities 
distinguish it radically from other Frenchmen. 

But then let us add that even Parisians transferred into the 
provinces easily succeed in regaining their height, health and 


According to the experiments made by H. V. Hoeslin in the 
Pathological Institute of Munich on two dogs descended from 
the same parents, which at the beginning of the experiment 
weighed the same, viz. 3*1 and 3 '2 kilograms, one, well nourished, 
weighed after a year 29'5 kilograms, whilst the other, which had 

1 Anthropology ; or, On the Form and Colour of Alan. 
3 Luddes fur Erdkunde. I. 484. 

3 Sur la Taille dee Parisiens. Bull, de la Soc. d'Anthrop. 3rd aeries, 
vol. XI. 

4 Statiatique de la Ville de Paris. Revue d'Anthrop. 2nd series, vol. IV. 
6 Champouillon, Revue de Memoires de M6decine militaire. Vol. XXII. 



received only an insufficient nourishment (a third of what the 
first dog had), only weighed 91. As to their height it was 
in the proportion of 100 to 83. Explorers have shown an 
analogous phenomenon among primitive or savage peoples. 
Generally the families of the chiefs who are fed to satiety are 
superior in height to their neighbours. 0. Bollinger attributes 
with reason the height of English and German nobles to similar 
causes of comfort, which implies principally a more abundant 

The poor Jews of Roumania, Slav countries and Germany, who, 
as we know, are insufficiently nourished, are generally much 
smaller than their neighbours, but placed in other circumstances 
they increase in stature. Thus the descendants of the same 
Russian, Polish, German or Roumanian Jews attain at the 
end of the second generation the height of their English or 
French fellow-citizens. 

Let us not forget that, owing to the law of co-ordination, 
the other parts of their bodies undergo at the same time other 
modifications, which assimilate them physiologically to their 
immediate entourage. 

The alimentary regime also acts on our physiological nature 
and on the aspirations of our soul. Flesh nourishment, more or 
less exclusive, Armand Gautier tells us, is, in a higher degree 
than race, one of the factors in a gentle or violent individual 
disposition. According to Liebig the irascibility of pigs may be 
so far excited by feeding them on flesh as to provoke them 
to attack men. The vegetarian regime is considered to soften 
habits and to induce passivity in human beings, for which 
reason no doubt all the founders of religion prescribe it to the 

The quantity of food necessary to sustain human life varies 
according to conditions of milieu and occupation. According 
to M. Maurel, 1 man of intertropical countries needs for 
his azotised nourishment five-sixths of the quantity needed 
in temperate climates, that is, he needs 1 gram for every 
kilogram of his weight as against 1*2 gram in temperate 

1 See hi curious works published in the Archive* de la mtderine navale, 
Vol. LXXXIV and LXXXV. , under the heading Influence des climats et des 
arson* sur lee depenses de I'organisme chez Fhomme. 


climes. This quantity should be augmented for those who work 
hard and should be diminished in hot seasons. It depends in 
addition on the age and health of individuals. The science of 
alimentation has become to-day so vast and exact that we cannot 
here sum up its complex teaching. It is enough to quote this 
truth that defective or insufficient nutrition contributes to the 
physiological degeneracy of peoples and individuals. 

Nutrition plays a chief part in what concerns the variations 
aimed at. According to Darwin, who occupied himself entirely 
with plants and animals, excess of nourishment is the most 
effective exciting cause. But the same statement is made with 
regard to human beings. 

According to Collignon, l whatever may be the nature of the 
soil, whether granitic or calcareous, flat or undulating, one thing 
alone always regulates variations and that is nourishment. If 
this is good, favoured either by wealth or by a soil sufficiently 
productive to nourish well those who occupy it, the race, 
whatever it may be, will be fine and will attain the most 
complete development compatible with its proper nature. 
If there be added the accumulative action of selection, which 
of necessity only allows those to exist who are more or less 
hardy and capable of living on little, we naturally expect to find 
small races comprising many sickly and infirm in all poor 
regions. This author quotes, in order to bear out his theory, 
numerous observations made by him in Limousin, Perigord, 
Brittany and Normandy. Leaving on one side what is excessive 
in this estimate of the factor of nourishment, which is so 
difficult to detach from the other elements composing the 
milieu, we must acknowledge that its r61e is one of the most 

It is enough to examine the African tribes condemned to 
misery, who, though sprung from the same stock, differentiate to 
such an extent as to form races which are most distinct. They 
need only be compared with their well-nourished brethren in 
order to see the importance of nourishment in the history of the 
evolution of races. 

Travellers in Australia nearly always insist on this fact, that 

1 See his profound researches on the French population from the point of 
view of its recruitment for military service. 

L 2 


individuals of small height are generally badly nourished and 
badly clothed, whereas tall stature is general among the 
natives of the interior who enjoy some comfort. The attempt 
has been made to prove the influence of nourishment on 
species. It has been thought in particular that it was confined 
only to individuals and that it had no possibility of modifying 
races, which is a matter inconceivable and inadmissible. For, 
as Magne justly says, if it be admitted that the male and 
female have been modified in their conformation and tempera- 
ment, they must necessarily give birth to individuals who 
resemble them. 

Experience, however, has demonstrated that characteristics 
which are the result of an alimentary regime, are transmitted by 

Collignon, mentioned above, has shown by abundant proofs 
taken from the department of Gard how much nourishment in- 
fluences the height of recruits. 1 The inhabitants of more or less 
fertile plains show a mean height of 1m. 640 ; those of the 
mountains Im. 585. The marshy districts furnish the largest pro- 
portion of those invalided on the ground of illness (217 per 1,000). 
In three cantons, Plens, Linvallon and Quentin, whose clay 
soil, damp and sterile, gives little corn, the inhabitants are very 
poor and are in height 1m. 544. The same applies to the ward 
of Mont-de-Marsan, where men feed miserably on escoton (boiled 
flour of millet). 

Does the milieu go so far as to make an impression on 
the craniological conformation ? Durand (de Gros) quotes this 
singular fact that brachycephaly is general in the rural popu- 
lation of the wards of Rodez, d'Espalion and Milhau. But it is 
quite different with the urban population, among whom the 
heads are much larger, sometimes very large, and show nume- 
rous examples of pronounced frontal dolichocephaly. The 
same author mentions this fact also, which is no less character- 
istic, that this cranial type, so distinct in form and volume from 
that which prevails without exception in the country, is 
observable among citizens whose parents and grandparents 
were simple peasants of the neighbourhood. 

These facts cannot be sufficiently insisted on and we do not 
1 Mim. de, la Soc. d'Anthrop., 3rd series. Vol. I. 


think it useless to multiply their number. The laws of the 
influence of the milieu are not yet clearly established. What 
is especially lacking is the adjustment of the partial influences of 
the numerous factors which compose it. In the impossibility 
which we experience in formulating in a precise way the action of 
external causes on the physical and intellectual values of human 
beings, we are forced to register incontestable and uncontested 
observations as they come quite promiscuously. It is from these 
as a whole that the explanation of the genesis of the formation of 
human varieties emerges, however contradictory they may appear 
at first sight. 

The moral causes, such as the liberty which people enjoy, the 
consideration of which they are assured, the wholesome sentiment 
of equality before the law and the respect of human dignity, 
the instruction which is given them, the national system of 
taxation which contributes to their comfort, the facility of 
internal and external communications, the way in which the 
State exercises its privileges and monopolies, justice which re- 
spects all the legitimate aspirations of citizens, and as many 
other conditions of a healthy development of a country, have 
all likewise their counter effect on the physiological formation 
of human beings. 

Here are certain striking examples. 

Norton 1 assures us that in the country studied by him the 
Negro children born in liberty have more beautiful eyes, a 
more elegant appearance, and an easier bearing like that of 
Europeans, than in the countries where they are ill treated. 
The same remark has been made by Lewis and d'Orbigny. 
Day 2 improves on this fact, and states that Negroes who hold 
higher situations are distinguished by their features, which 
resemble those of the Caucasian races, and are not unlike those 
of very dark Jews. 

Lyell, in his account of his second voyage to the United 
States, tells us that Negroes who have had continual relations 
for a long time with Europeans become like these last 
physiologically. According to Dr. Hancock, the civilised Negroes 
of Guinea show tendencies to become like their white 

1 A Residence at Sierra Leone. 

8 On the Causes of the Variety of Complexion and Figure. 


neighbours physiologically, and he insists on the fact that even 
their encephalon undergoes similar changes. 

Stanhope Smith l maintains that negro slave merchants are 
distinguishable from Negroes in a striking way. Whereas those 
sold continue to keep all their characteristic traits, the vendors 
lose after the second and third generation their woolly kind of 
hair, and the characteristic negro smell. With the change in 
their material and moral situation, Negroes have altered 
considerably during the last two centuries (Stephen Ward). 2 
The thickness of their lips has diminished, and also the very 
accentuated lower jaw. 

Dr. Warren 3 states this fact that the skulls of Negroes of past 
times found in New York have a cerebral capacity much less 
than those of modern Negroes. 

Let us add that the climatic situation of a country reacts on 
the appearance and persistence of certain diseases, and so 
produces many physiological modifications. In Peru the popula- 
tion are only affected by veruga at an altitude between 600 and 
1,600 metres, whereas yellow fever in Mexico never goes above 
the altitude of 924 metres. 4 On the other hand, various diseases 
often become severe or slight, affecting the organism profoundly 
or disappearing without leaving traces, according to the latitude 
or the physical conformation of the country. 

1 Five Years' Residence in the West Indies. 
a The Natural History of Mankind. 

3 Quarterly Review, June, 1851. 

4 Darwin, Voyage dun naturaliste. 



WE have seen how human types evolve under the influence 
of their milieu. Climate and mode of life, in the widest 
meaning of these terms, succeed in counterbalancing hereditary 
influences. The skull and all the other parts of our organism 
undergo in this way essential changes, and yet, while undergoing 
modification, never cross the limit which separates mankind 
from other animal species. 

Mixture, otherwise called crossing of blood, among human 
varieties causes by itself almost as many changes as the innumer- 
able factors of milieu. It has been practised unconsciously 
ever since man's appearance on the earth. Owing to it, 
intermediary races exist whereby the over- violent contradictions 
which the milieu left to itself might have engendered are 
softened and equalised. This phenomenon is, in short, as old as 
humanity itself, and what has contributed to its appearance, 
extension and duration is the fact that the human species has 
been divided only by the barriers of milieu. No special 
instinct has ever prevented the varieties from interblending, 
whilst the conformation of their sexual organs has never placed 
any obstacles in its way. To-day, as in neolithic times, the 
highest and lowest in the human scale have been able to 
contract fruitful marriages. 

Moreover it is possibly owing to this crossing from time 
immemorial that our distinctive traits are so far from being 
as irreducible as certain anthropologists would have uu 


It is with men as with animals. Darwin tells us that in 
uncivilised or very little civilised countries, where herds cannot 
be separated, there rarely exists, if ever, more than one race of 
the same species. The example of North America is one of the 
most characteristic, where for a long time there was no distinct 
breed of sheep, for they were always mixed. Again, animals of 
the same race enclosed in a park have characteristics which 
distinguish them from others penned up in another park. In 
this way do races evolve and are even lost under the action of 
this most important factor. It has been shown for instance 
that varieties of cats taken into new countries lose their 
peculiar characteristics owing to their vagabond nature. When 
the domestic cat becomes wild again in some countries, it 
assumes for a similar reason uniform characteristics with the 

Now man has from all time lived under the influence of 
unconscious cross-breeding. 


The word " cross-breeding " may be applied both to men and 
animals, but the results obtained from it bear different names. 
The progeny of crossed human varieties are called half breeds 
and those of plants or animals, hybrids. Crossing acts in two 
ways. In mixing different types without preconceived ideas, 
it produces an intermediary type, whilst in working purposely 
towards a well-defined end, it brings about the appearance of 
new races with well-marked characteristics of their own. The 
first applies in particular to men and animal? living in liberty, 
whereas the second applies to domesticated animals and plants, 
and is known as " artificial selection." Breeders and cultivators, 
who, conscious of the end they are pursuing, succeed by cross- 
ing animals and plants of the same species in obtaining 
individuals of a certain type, are making an artificial selection, 
to which indeed we owe the appearance of so many animal and 
vegetable varieties. 

The breeder, in short, takes advantage of the circumstances 
of milieu, nourishment, and other factors. In bringing together 
two types marked by qualities which particularly interest him, 


he causes the birth of a new variety. In reality he creates 
nothing but only stamps his own desire on nature's work. When 
he directs this selection methodically for a certain number of 
generations he arrives at the formation of a special and 
thoroughly marked race which is distinguishable from the 
others by certain specific and hereditary qualities. In this way 
it has become possible to create a number of bovine races, goat 
races, dogs, horses, rabbits, and pigeons. The hundreds of 
races of pigeons, so different in their aptitudes and structures, 
are all descended from the Columba lima. In working with 
the object of obtaining certain desired characteristics among 
animals, breeders preside at their couplings and completely 
divert the evolution of their species. 

Man has never been " selectionised " according to a precon- 
ceived method. Crossing between his different samples has 
encountered no obstacles except those resulting from social 
prejudices or from natural barriers. The faculty which he pos- 
sesses of moving from one place to another and of being easily 
acclimatised, surmounts these obstacles, so that crossing between 
the most diverse representatives is seen as a general rule in his 

Far from strengthening the divergences produced by the 
differences of milieu, the possibility of crossing, powerfully aided 
by the intellectual factor which draws all human beings 
together, has only modified the distinctive traits and created 
passing phases which link together all the unities of the great 
human cluster. 


The new blood which crossing is reputed to bring into 
the organism, produces the most complex phenomena in it 
Nathusius in his standard work on the skulls of pigs (Schweine- 
schaedel) maintains that it suffices to introduce into a race of 
the type Sus Scrofa, -failn. f the blood of the &us Indicus, in 
order to modify the skull of the former. To the influence of 
crossing, the same author also attributes the monstrous pig of 
Japan, which, with its very large snout, very short head and 
special traits, is so different from the rest of its species. 


Together with the skull, the modifications bear on the period 
of gestation, length of limbs, the force and resistance of the 
animal, number of molars, and even the pulse which, as Youatt 
says, varies according to the height of certain animals. The 
distinction thus obtained among the individuals of the same 
species is altogether surprising. The brain of certain dogs is low, 
long and narrow in the anterior part ; with others it is high 
and arched and shows perceptible differences in weight. Their 
height also varies in the extreme. According to Geoffroy 
Saint-Hilaire some dogs are six times as long as others, 
without counting the tail. 

The number of generations which is necessary to obtain a 
new variety varies according to circumstances. It is generally 
thought that from three to six is sufficient to obtain certain 
characteristic traits in plants. In the animal kingdom their 
number appears to be much more considerable. The mixture 
of the representatives of the two varieties does not always 
mean an equal influence on the part of the two parents. Their 
blood in crossing seems to struggle in the procreated organism. 
The characteristics of the newly born depend accordingly on the 
preponderance of one of the two individuals crossed. Moreover 
some varieties show traits of much greater persistence. Account 
must also be taken of that unexpected element called atavism, 
which is the tendency to revert and which often paralyses the 
regular action of the new type's success. 

Cross-breeding, which biologically touches the most mysterious 
depths of a being, cheats human investigation in many respects. 
In the animal and vegetable kingdoms, breeders and cultivators 
meet with frequent surprises which the present state of science 
fails to explain. We are speaking in particular of certain 
impenetrable affinities between the representatives of the two 
sexes crossed. The reason of the greater or lesser fertility of 
some and the sterility of others frequently escapes us. The 
best explanation bearing on the differences of species is far 
from being satisfactory. In default of special laws it is 
experience and concrete results which guide breeders. Broca, 
without attempting to give the key to the enigma, endeavoured 
to classify all the cases in what concerns the results of crossing, 
He notes, to begin with, two leading categories, viz. heterogenesis. 


which comprises all cases of sexual connections where no 
fecundation takes place, and homogenesis, with different degrees 
of fecundation. 

Fecundation is abortive when the foetus is born before its 
time ; agenesic when fecundation is relative in the sense that the 
progeny remain sterile among themselves or with individuals 
of one or the other of the parent races ; dysgenesic when the 
hybrids, although mutually sterile, are fecund when crossed 
with an individual of one or the other of the parent races ; 
paragenesic when the results are fecund among themselves, 
but only for two or three generations ; and eugenesic when the 
progeny are normally fertile. 

To form varieties or new races, this last case is the most 
interesting as there is no impediment to the evolution of the new 
forms which are created by the mixture of the two crossed 

The number of conditions, however, is so great that it is 
impossible to formulate any rules whatever. Moreover, we have 
to consider the new characteristic which we desire to have 
produced. The milieu, on the other hand, with its innumerable 
factors, never loses its rights, acting both on the parents, and 
on the product of their crossing. It is thus almost impos- 
sible to overlook its simultaneous action and to speak only of 
crossing. We know, for instance, how conditions of life affect 
the reproductive system before and after fecundation. The 
milieu in this case acts directly and in its way contributes to 
the sterility or fecundity of crossings as also to the quality of 
their results. Cross-breeding, from its first application, causes 
profound changes in an organism. 

The relative sterility of cross-breeding is a question on which 
naturalists have been very much divided. Let us note, however, 
that sterility is due almost exclusively to differences of sexual 
constitution, especially noticeable among different species. 

In general, when it is a case of coupling two individuals 
belonging to the same race, fecundity is the rule. Wherever 
the pairing has no results, some naturalists have even wanted 
to see different species. 

This circumstance is of prime importance in the case of 
crossing among human beings. 


Whereas among species, even the most closely related, sterility 
is the rule, it never occurs even when the most divergent races 
pair among birds of the farmyard, pigs, horses, and dogs. Not 
only do all domestic races couple thus with success in the matter 
of fecundity, but also their hybrid progeny are observed to be 
quite fecund. 

It has also been shown that varieties of organised beings need 
to be crossed in order to augment their vitality. Left to 
themselves they become weak and display a tendency to 
diminish and disappear. The progeny thus crossed are 
generally considered to be much stronger than their parents. 


As applied to man, cross-breeding, modified by the special 
conditions of his life, generally presents the same advantages as 
in the animal kingdom. Fire, left to itself, burns itself out, so 
Herbert Spencer tells us. Vital forces, in like manner, always 
tend to a state of equipoise. To preserve their vigour it is 
necessary to excite and restore them by submitting them to the 
action of other forces. Man did not wait to commingle with his 
species until science should tell him to do so. With him cross- 
breeding has been facilitated by the complete fecundity of 
halfbreeds and the sexual concord between representatives the 
furthest removed from one another. Since the first migrations 
of peoples, this phenomenon has taken place. In the blood of 
modern white Europeans flows that of Negroes who lived on our 
continent at the end of the Quaternary epoch. 

Cross-breeding among the most differentiated races, far from 
being sterile, adds to their fecundity. According to Le Vaillant, 
Hottentot women, who generally give birth to three or four 
children, have as many as twelve when united to white men or 
Negroes. The crossing of Negroes with white women or of 
white men with Negro women produces similar results. 

A similar statement is made as to Russians and their unions 
with the indigenous populations of Asiatic Russia. 

Later on we shall examine the composition of French blood, 
and shall see that it is only a mixture obtained by the union of 


innumerable human varieties. All peoples and races resemble 
one another in this respect. If any race is deemed pure from 
all mixture, it is only because we are unable to disentangle its 
constituent elements. 

As means of communication develop and the march of 
progress continues, crossing becomes more common. This not 
only increases in the middle of Old Europe but also among all 
the inhabitants of every part of the Old and New Worlds. If 
the word halfbreed was strictly applied to the progeny which 
has really issued from a mixture of varieties, it would be 
necessary to include under this denomination all human beings 
with rare exceptions. Moreover war and conquest always 
involved mixture of blood. The Whites, whose ethnical origin 
is far from being pure, have in their turn founded a new stock 
in the New World by commingling with its aborigines. Mexico 
in particular is peopled by halfbreeds, the progeny of Spaniards 
and local peoples. The United States is a vast crucible 
wherein for centuries an indescribable mixture of peoples and 
races has been going on. In Brazil, Argentina, Chili, as in 
the other republics of Central and South America, halfbreeds 
abound. In Peru there are more than twenty names to define 
the various products of crossing between Peruvians, Negroes 
and Portuguese. 

In Africa we find that the Zulu Kaffirs, regarded as the 
purest of the pure, are the result of mixtures, difficult to 
disentangle and define. If in some respects they resemble the 
Whites, they often show many traits of the Negro. In many 
places in Africa the influence is seen of the so-called Hamitic 
blood, which is of Asiatic and European origin. According to 
some anthropologists, Hamites mixed with Negroes were the 
origin of the Ethiopians, the fundamental ethnical basis of 
ancient Egypt. Cultured Negroes in the United States maintain, 
perhaps not without reason, that their real ancestors were the 
Ethiopians, creators of a much older civilisation than that of the 
Whites in Europe. In addition to the Ethiopians, the Himya- 
rites (Southern Semites) passed over in far back times from the 
opposite shores of the Red Sea and mixed with Negroes, 
Ethiopians and Berbers. 

What shall we say of the Arabs (Northern Semites), who for 


about fifteen centuries have continued their invasions into the 
African continent and who were followed in the 18th century 
by Europeans whose blood is being more and more mixed with 
that of Africans ? We meet with Kouchito-Khamites, that is 
Ethiopians, in all the N.E. of Africa, and it is especially from 
among them that the people of Abyssinia (the Agaou) are 
recruited. The Foulah-Sande*, a term adopted by J. Deniker 
to define the mass of the populations living in Africa on a strip 
of 5 to 6 degrees in breadth from east to west, are only a mixture 
of Ethiopians with Soudanese Negroes (the Nigritians). Their 
number includes the Mangbattou, the Niam-Niam, the Ndris, 
the Bandziri, the Poul-Be, &c., &c. 

The numerous Nigritian peoples are also strongly mixed 
with Arabs and Ethiopians. The zone of their habitat is from 
the Atlantic to the basin of the Upper Nile and comprises the 
Soudanese, Senegalese, Guineans, &c. 

As for the Bantus, whose name covers innumerable Negro 
tribes of Central and Southern Africa, they are strongly mixed 
with the Ethiopians. Those on the coast between Cape Delgado 
and the port Durnford, where Swahili is now the most widely 
spread of local dialects, are also much mixed with Arabs. The 
Zulus are not exempt from Ethiopian blood. 

The Hottentots, having crossed with the Dutch and other 
Europeans, have given birth to numerous Bastards. 

The Ethiopians, who have so largely influenced the formation 
of Negro races, are merely half-breeds of Negroes and Karaites. 
Their reaction on the ethnical composition of the Whites is 
indisputable, which fact opens out new horizons for savants who 
will one day wish to explore the many links of relationship 
uniting the Negroes with European peoples and, through these 
white intermediaries, with all humanity! 

The crossings between the inhabitants of Europe and Asia 
are much more apparent and less discussed. Nearly all the 
principal races considered as Asiatic, are found mixed with 
other peoples and races, in other parts of the globe. On this 
matter, let us note the Semitic and Mongol races, the Negritos, 
Eskimos, Turko-Tartars, c. 

It is not our intention to study the origins and affiliations 
of the principal races of the world, but only to indicate in a 


summary way the mutual interpenetration of diverse peoples, 
which renders almost illusory the search for an absolutely pure 

In the present state of science the place of honour assigned to 
pure races could only be claimed by certain savage or primitive 
peoples whose history is buried in oblivion. 

But can one as a matter of fact still speak of pure races and 
peoples after considering the permanent effects which two or 
three cross-breedings produce ? Breeders furnish us on this 
subject with proofs altogether surprising. Let us note for 
instance that quoted by Fleischmann. The primitive German 
breed of sheep, which provides ordinary wool, produces 5,500 
fibres of wool per square inch. After three or four crossings 
with Merinos, they produce 8,000 and after the twentieth 
crossing 27,000. 

Who will ever estimate the quantity of blood of all origins 
which flows in the veins of a white, yellow or black man ? 

The history of human varieties may be reduced to these 
most simple facts, viz. that primary races formed under the 
influence of the milieu have never ceased mixing among 
themselves on the occasions when they meet, especially during 
the migrations of peoples. The consecutive crossings which 
have taken place under the influence of milieu acting incessantly 
everywhere, have given birth to a number of intermediary 
types which serve as links uniting humanity. It is cross- 
breeding which finally levels all the types created by the 

What is the value of cross-breeding ? Opinions have been 
divided for a long time on this subject. In their inordinate 
pride, the Whites have never been willing to admit that women of 
other races, and especially those of so-called inferior ones, are 
able to give birth to children equal in value to purely white 
progeny. People have quibbled for years on the absolute value 
of crossed products without being ready to take into con- 
sideration the special circumstances which have contributed to 


their intellectual and physiological formation. Arguing from 
examples of American mulattoes they have endeavoured to cast 
opprobrium on all human crossbreeds, which is an illogical 
attempt, for are not all human beings crossbreeds? 

Moreover, are these mulattoes such deplorable specimens as 
one would have us believe? It is sufficient to recall the 
circumstances which accompanied their birth, the conditions 
of their youth, and the bitterness of their life, in order to 
understand that white men placed in similar circumstances 
would perhaps be worth still less. The white man who seduced a 
negress nearly always abandoned her when she became a 
mother, and the child coming into the world as the product of 
debauchery, badly nourished and exceedingly despised, grew up 
generally in conditions which are not to be mentioned. The 
white stamp which he had received at birth predestined him 
in his own eyes to a much more glorious and brilliant future 
than that of his black brethren. He entered life full of pride 
and scorn for his entourage, advancing with confidence towards 
white men, whom he was pleased to consider as his equals. 
But from this approach disappointments without number awaited 
him. Despised and hated, he was violently ejected from 
white society ; white prejudices against people of colour were 
particularly stirred against these halfbreeds, whose resemblance 
to the whites demonstrated so clearly the stupidity of racial 
superstition. The nearer the Blacks approached the Whites 
physically, the more did the Whites repulse them with passionate 
hatred, driven by the blind instinct of their own interests. 
Bewildered and unclassed, the mulattoes entered the only milieu 
open to receive them and this was the milieu of crime. With 
the work of negro regeneration which has followed the mulattoes' 
clearer vision of their surroundings, they have recovered their 
dreams of social equality with the Whites by hard work and 
a life as honest as that of their negro or white entourage. The 
impartial witnesses of their regeneration in the United States 
bestow upon their efforts the praises which they deserve and 
rank the mulattoes themselves on the same level as other 
peoples and races. 

Those who, like Gobineau, Lapouge, Ammon, and other 
anthropo-sociologists, would have us believe that " crossbreeds " 


are physiologically and psychologically inferior to their " races 
courantes" (Ammon), appear to forget the lessons of history. 
We find ourselves, moreover, forcibly placed in a dilemma. 
Humanity, we are told, progresses without ceasing. Biologically 
speaking, it surpasses in worth its forerunners of the dark ages. 
But it is evident, as shewn above, that the crossing of human 
beings is a permanent fact. If then crossing results in decadence, 
man should have disappeared long since from the planet and 
should have fallen to the level of the protozoa. 

Concrete observations from life, however, confirm the inanity 
of all these deductions. Cross-breeding has in no sense the sorry 
privilege of physical degeneracy, nor that of bringing people to 
final ruin, so writers on demography and impartial explorers 
assure us. Where did Tylor find the most beautiful women in 
the world ? At Tristan da Cunha (a little island between the 
Cape and South America), among the descendants of Whites 
and Negroes. 

"Its inhabitants (he tells us) are mulattoes, well built but 
not very dark. Nearly all are of European type, much more so 
than the Negro. Among the young girls were some with such 
entirely beautiful heads and bodies, that I never remember 
having seen anything so splendid. And yet I am familiar with 
all the strands of the earth, Bali and its Malays, Havannah and 
its Creoles, Tahiti and its nymphs, the United States and its most 
distinguished women." 

It is pleasant to see that the crossbreeds of Java are superior 
to the Malays and that the Brazilians of the province of St. Paul, 
who are the progeny of Portuguese and indigenous tribes, viz., 
the Cerigos and the Gaynazes, excel physiologically, intellect- 
ually and morally. A detail worthy of notice is that longevity 
counts among these crossbreeds its most striking examples. 1 

The Griquas, mixed products of Hottentots and Dutch, or 
the Cafusos are quite equal to pure Whites, just as the cross- 
breeds of Indian and Spanish are at least as good as the 
Spaniards themselves. 

If it is desired to question fertility of crossing, facts give the 
lie direct to all such pessimists ! Let us note first of all that 
crossing between aristocratic and common classes of White 

1 See my Philofophie de la Lomgivite, 


society is recognised as a necessary factor in their continuation. 
Broca also insists on this fact, that the population of France has 
increased since the Revolution caused the two classes to mingle 
which originally represented conquerors and conquered. 

When for any reason certain aristocracies refuse to mix with 
other social classes, they wither away and perish. The Spartans, 
Dumont tells us, numbered 9,000 in the time of Lycurgus. In 
480, they had diminished to 8,000 ; in 420, to 6,000 ; in 
Aristotle's time, to 1,000 ; and in 230, to 700. In order to 
preserve the patrician order in Rome, it was absolutely 
necessary to ennoble whole masses of plebeians. We remember 
amongst other things that in 179 the Roman Senate only 
numbered 88 Patricians for 212 Plebeians. A number of 
Emperors were obliged to continue raising new nobles in order 
to preserve the Senate from disappearing. Galton tells us that 
among the oldest English families there are only five who seem 
to go back to the fifteenth century in the direct male line. 
According to Benoiton de Chateauneuf, the existence of noble 
French families never exceeds three centuries. The great 
historical names have long since become extinct. Surviving only 
in the female line, they have been revived by pure usurpation 
and often by special grants bestowed by the Kings and after- 
wards by the Empire. This phenomenon has also occurred in 
other countries. If we trace closely the evolution of the 
reigning families of Europe, we see first the usual degeneracy 
and then the disappearance of the stock. Those which persist, 
as for example, the Russian dynasty, owe their persistence only 
to a strong mixture of foreign blood. The rich middle class, 
which follows the example of the aristocracy in confining itself 
within a restricted circle, suffers the same mournful fate. 
According to the curious examples furnished by Hansen, there 
were 118 patrician families in Nuremberg in 1390 ; more than 
50 per cent, had disappeared by 1490. There were at Augsburg, 
in 1368, fifty-one senatorial families; in 1538, only eight 
remained. From 1583 to 1684, 487 families were admitted into 
the bourgeoisie of Berne, but by 1783 only 108 remained. At 
Lubeck (the same author tells us) in 1848 the last scion of the 
patrician families died. Falling lower and lower in the 
social scale, he had been forced to become a simple office-boy. 


In a general way aristocratic families, including those of 
reigning families, suffer the same fate as the Julia dynasty 
which has been so melodramatically described by Jacoby. 1 
Degeneracy, premature death, folly, debauchery, alcoholism and 
sterility are the common lot of all these favourites of fortune. 
From the time of Edward II., who mounted the throne in 1307, 
up to the time of George I. (of Hanover), England exhausted six 
dynasties : the Plantagenets, Lancasters, Yorks, Tudors, Stuarts 
and Oranges. 

All those who study the history of the European nobility with- 
out prejudice perceive very soon that wherever it has not under- 
gone the beneficent influence of crossing with plebeian classes,ithas 
soon degenerated or disappeared. What Benoiton de Chateauneuf 
has noticed in the case of France, Doubleday 2 states for England. 
About the year 1858, 272 English lords out of 394 dated only 
from 1760. Of 1527 titles of baronet, created in 1611, only 30 
remained by 1819. The same phenomenon is also seen in the 
case of the frank-burghers of Newcastle. Once a rich and 
independent class enjoying many privileges, it gradually 
decreased in number and was only physically revived from the 
time it lost its prestige and mixed with the people. 

What takes place on a small scale among the aristocratic 
classes of Europe is seen on a vast scale in the rule of castes in 
India. There a huge country, in which people are counted by the 
hundred million, falls so low as to become the prey of a few 
thousand audacious adventurers. And yet here in particular 
flourished and still flourishes the cult of blood, so piously 

When the same problem is studied inversely, that is to say, 
in studying the origins of superior individuals in every country, 
one notices with astonishment that nearly all are the result of 
crossed marriages. Havelock Ellis affirms, for example, that the 
best American writers and thinkers, like Edgar Allan Poe, 
Whitman, Lowell, Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Longfellow, and 
many others, are descended from mixed families. The best 
known American inventor, Edison, is found in this class. 

This same phenomenon is seen in England. There also the 

1 fitudea sur la Selection chez I'ffomme. 2nd ed. (Paris : F. Alcan.) 
* The Law of Population. 

M 2 


representative types of its insular genius are far from being pure 
English, as, for example, Tennyson, Swinburne, Rossetti, Browning, 
Ouida, Corelli, Romilly, Lewes, Millais, Disraeli, &c. To show how 
much European progress is indebted to mixed types would need 
many volumes. Let us confine ourselves to naming as they 
come, in France, men like Sainte-Beuve, Dumas father and son, 
Taine, de Maistre, Montalembert, Me"rimee, and even Victor 
Hugo. The illustrious Kant, regarded as an incarnation of 
German genius, was far from being a pure German. The most 
typical poets among the Russian people, Pushkin, Lermontoff, 
and the creator of the Russian drama, von Vizine, were of mixed 
origin. In the veins of Ibsen there flows a mixture of Scotch 
and Norwegian blood. These examples might be multiplied to 


Thus the renewing of blood nearly always gives excellent 
results. Experience does in no way prove its sterility. Stokes 
furnishes us with conclusive proofs that even marriages between 
Europeans and Australian or Tasmanian women have very 
good results as regards the birth-rate. 

Some English seal-hunters in the Bass Straits had in the 
beginning of the nineteenth century carried away a number of 
native women. Stokes tells us that in 1846 numerous and 
excellent seal-hunters were to be seen in this neighbourhood 
recruited from the descendants of these Tasmanian and Australian 
women crossed with the English. 

In Indo-China the commingling of Annamite blood with 
that of Europeans has resulted in excellent mixtures (Morice). 

Waitz * insists with reason on the constant amelioration of 
the inferior type by the superior type through crossing. Accord- 
ing to this author, four generations suffice to make a mulatto 
white and five to make him black again through an uninter- 
rupted return. 

The American nation proves by the unceasing progress which 

it has realised in so short a time, the indisputable advantages 

of cross-breeding practised on an extensive scale. To grasp 

the whole extent of this mixture of peoples which goes on in 

1 Anthropologie der Naturvolker. 


the United States under our eyes, it is enough to consider the 
quality and origin of the immigrants who arrive there annually. 
Let us take for purposes of comparison the year 1903. 1 The 
number of immigrants without counting those of Mexico and 
Canada amounted to 803,272 ! Austria sent in round numbers 
30,000 Slovaks and Croats, 23,000 Magyars, 32,500 Poles, 
13,000 Jews, without reckoning Roumanians, Lithuanians, Dal- 
matians, Czecks, Bosnians, &c. Of the 109,721 Russians, 
33,859 were Poles, 13,854 Finns, 37,846 Jews, 11,629 Lithu- 
anians ; of Italians, 27,620 came from the north and 152,915 
from the south (Neapolitans, Sicilians, &c.). Also 55,780 
Scandinavians, 29,001 Irish, 14,455 Japanese, 14,942 English, 
70,000 Germans, 15,000 Greeks, &c., &c. This constant stream 
of peoples, who have spread themselves over the United States 
for so many years, ends by forming a special race of North 
Americans whom the old peoples of Europe are pleased to 
recognise as a superior type. 

We have seen above how under the influence of the milieu 
all these heterogeneous elements are transformed in the United 
States into a new and clearly marked ethnical type which is 
quite distinct from the people sent out from Europe and Asia. 
Even intellectually the United States has succeeded in dissolving 
the separate traits of these immigrants. A kind of moral unity 
takes place among these descendants of many peoples. According 
to the last census, there are in the United States less people 
ignorant of English than there are people in the German Empire 
ignorant of German. The number of journals published in foreign 
languages diminishes every year, whereas that of English 
journals increases perpetually. In 1900 the round number of 
these English journals was sixteen times greater than that of 
all the journals published in other languages, viz. in German, 
Polish, Italian, Chinese, Hungarian, Danish, &c. 

It is enough (so Americans tell us) for one or two generations 
at most to make of this European overflow a remarkably stable, 
intelligent and enterprising people ! 

Wherever crossing takes place under normal conditions, 
inferior types become better without causing any degeneration 

1 The year counta from April, so that in this case the numbers are for 
twelve months, from April, 1902, to the end of March, 1903. 


whatever of the race or of the so-called superior classes. The 
pessimistic assertions of the detractors of cross-breeding are dis- 
proved by the mere fact of the constant progress realised by 
humanity, whose representatives have done nothing but mix 
among themselves in every way. On the other hand, the 
disastrous effects produced by purity of blood show us how 
frail is the foundation on which the theory of pure races is based. 

Modern science, moreover, offers a plausible explanation of the 
deterioration of a social class condemned to live entirely on its 
own reserve of blood, force and health. It would be unjust to 
explain the degeneracy of all the privileged classes as due to 
idleness or debauchery. The German and Swiss bourgeoisie, as 
also certain groups of the old nobility, are particularly distin- 
guished for their domestic virtues, their economy, and an 
hygienic life free from all excess. A condemnation of principle 
weighs nevertheless on their posterity. Fed on political and social 
prejudices, the representatives of privileged classes will only 
marry within the restricted circle of their ethnical group, living 
in most cases under the influences of the same morbid factors. 
But all psychical anomalies, as Moreau (of Tours) shows, are 
closely related. They form a sort of sympathetic chain the links 
of which are attached to each other. The appearance of a mor- 
bid case in one generation can only increase in intensity from the 
moment when through union another member of the same family 
introduces his quota. Morbid cases, far from diminishing or 
disappearing, increase in this manner in a milieu particularly 
favourable to them. Psychical anomalies are found also in fre- 
quent and direct correlation with certain organic maladies like 
scrofula, defects in the organs of the senses, deformities of the 
skeleton, and the like. 

We may readily see the devastations which marriages among 
people resembling one another in the same constitutional or 
psychical defects can produce in a centre stamped with 
disease. But the danger does not stop here. The psychopathic 
anomalies in passing from generation to generation are trans- 
formed and assume the most varied and serious aspects. In 
face of this phenomenon of morbid heredity we can easily 
explain the degeneracy and disappearance of families condemned 
to marry into their own defects and vices. 


Modern peoples living under the influence of the same climatic 
and intellectual factors need also to renew their blood by ad- 
ditions from the outside. In their crossings on a large scale 
are to be seen the same advantages which are apparent in the 
union of the diverse social classes living in the same country. 
The example of the French and American peoples, these two 
great products of so many comminglings of peoples and races, 
bears eloquent testimony to the advantage of their unlimited 



THE different parts of our organism form a whole connected 
by all sorts of links. A wound inflicted on one part of our 
body affects the whole. The weakening of one of our organs 
reacts more or less on the whole of our organism. Goethe 
and Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire had already mentioned it simul- 
taneously and had endeavoured to express it in terms of a 
general law. The law of the budget of our organism, as Goethe 
said, or the compensation of crossing, as it had been defined 
by Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, became with Darwin the law of 
correlative variability. 

"1 call balancing of organs (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire says) 
that law of animate nature in virtue of which a normal or 
pathological organ never acquires extraordinary prosperity 
without another of its system or of its relations being modified 
in the same degree." 

This co-ordinating force was familiar among the ancients 
under the name of nisus formativus. To this mysterious 
force numerous phenomena of organic regeneration were 

Whatever may be the definition of the law, the facts which 
lie at its root are incontestable. When we work our muscles 
and so cause an increase in their size, we simultaneously 
develop the blood vessels, ligaments, nerves, and even the bones 
themselves. When we succeed in lengthening or shortening a 
bird's beak, the correlative parts of its organism tend towards 
corresponding changes. When the length of the body of " thick 
throats " pigeons is developed out of all proportion, the number 
of vertebra increase and their ribs become enlarged. 

Very often a single changed trait involves a number of other 
modifications which are its crowning or logical complement. It 


is thus that breeders in confining their efforts solely to the 
modification of a single member cause the change of many. 

When the beak of a pigeon is lengthened, the length of the 
tongue usually profits by it. In examining several races of 
domestic pigeons like the rock-dove, the tumbler, &c., we 
perceive a great difference between them in the bend of the 
lower jaw. In these cases there is noticeable a corresponding 
difference in the bend of the upper jaw. Among short-faced 
tumblers the wings shorten proportionately to the reduced stature 
of this race. There is in like manner a very apparent correlation 
between the length of the claws and that of the beak (Darwin). 
The great Irish stag having acquired antlers weighing as much 
as a hundred pounds, 1 it follows that other changes will have 
taken place in its organism. We notice in it a thicker skull 
to bear the antlers, a strengthening of the cervical vertebrae 
and their ligaments, an enlargement of the dorsal vertebrae to 
support the neck, more powerful hind legs, &c. 

In the domain of craniology we see a number of analogous 
phenomena. The development of the anterior lobe of the 
brain causes the forcing back of the occipital aperture behind. 
A skull which lengthens becomes higher, and on the other 
hand, as brachycephaly augments, the skull lowers. The 
complete flattening of the face, including the cheekbones, is 
accompanied by phenomena which are logically co-ordinate with 
the principal change. The glabelle becomes effaced and the 
root of the nose crushed. 

In closely studying the vegetable kingdom, the same pheno- 
mena are observed. Sometimes the colour of flowers or leaves 
undergoes similar variations, and sometimes that of fruit, grain 
and leaves changes simultaneously. In the serpent melon, whose 
thin and tortuous fruit attain as much as a metre in length, 
the stalk of the plant, the pedicle of the female plant and 
the median lobe of the leaf are all elongated in a remark- 
able manner. 

It may be said that the more the organism is developed, the 
more this co-ordination of characteristics becomes manifest. 
What is this compensation, correlation or harmonisation of 
variations undergone by an organism ? For the moment 

1 H. Spencer, Principes de Biologic (French translation, Paris, F. Alcan). 


their inner nature remains quite inexplicable, and in the 
majority of cases we can only state their successive or simultan- 
eous appearance. 

Is nature in this way anxious to maintain harmony among 
her creations in counterbalancing one modification by another 
which complements it ? Her designs remain obscure to us, and 
so much the more so in that this science of the co-ordination of 
characteristics has only just begun. Why do young white 
pigeons which, when grown up, are yellow, dove-colour or 
silvery blue, come from the shell almost naked, whereas all 
other pigeons whose feathers are differently coloured are 
when born covered with down ? What can be the correlation 
between the down and the dove-colour or yellow which 
prevents their co-existence ? Why are the skulls of certain 
gallinaceous races, on the heads of which are thick tufts of 
feathers, perforated with so many holes? Why do white 
rabbits often have dark marks on the ends of their ears 
and feet? Why is the period of gestation longer among 
large breeds of cattle than among small ? So many ques- 
tions, so many enigmas, which no doubt will only remain so 
for a time. We must hope that science will some day reveal 
the majority of these mysteries and reduce them all to a com- 
prehensive law. In the meanwhile it looks as if nearly all 
these phenomena depend on some kind of organic co-ordination. 
The terms " balancing " and " harmony," which appear to 
affirm a premature fact, seem to us improper. All that we 
know reduces itself to this, that we observe a number of co- 
ordinated phenomena which appear simultaneously or succes- 
sively. We do not transgress the limits of experience in stating 
that there is " a law of organic co-ordination " the significance 
and causality of which escape us. 

Everything which we have stated above regarding animals and 
plants is equally applicable to man. Why does fair hair generally 
accompany blue eyes? Are the organs of sight and hearing 
generally affected simultaneously ? Isidore Geoffroy notes this 
fact, that additional digits appear in man simultaneously not 
only on the two hands, but also on the feet. It has been observed 
that Daltonism (colour blindness) goes with an incapacity of being 
swayed by musical sounds and of differentiating between them. 


Certain observations tend to give credit to the opinion that the 
muscles of the leg undergo variations analogous to those under- 
gone by the muscles of the arms. 

The face is in immediate harmony with the skull. The 
enlarging of the base of the nose, and of the inner orifice of 
the nostrils in the skeleton, coincides with the flattening of 
all the nasal parts, bone and cartilage (Topinard). Cases of 
prognathism are generally accompanied with very thick lips. 

In spite of the incalculable number of these correlations or 
co-ordinations, it is impossible to affirm that there exists a 
relationship of cause and effect. This kind of coincidence, as 
Claude Bernard remarked with reason, constitutes one of the 
gravest dangers which the experimental method meets with in 
all complex sciences, and especially in biology. It would be 
necessary, in order to establish a relationship of cause and effect, 
to be able to proceed to a kind of counter-proof, that is, to 
suppress a supposed cause, and see whether the effect still 
persists. Experimental science can only admit an explana- 
tion obtained from such exact conditions of counter-proof 
When a chemist desires to prove the truth of his analysis, he 
only proves it by way of synthesis. In wishing to show that 
his theory is well founded, he submits it to analysis. Only 
after obtaining results which are altogether in concord can 
we express an opinion on the soundness of the given pro- 

But now in the matter of plants and animals, to apply this 
counter-proof is most difficult. The milieu which produces 
certain modifications is so vast in the number of causes brought 
together that it is almost impossible to submit artificially to the 
test the mass of these causes minus one. 

The more the organism is perfected, the less chance has this 
counter-proving of being successful. In the case of man it 
becomes impossible, because of his psychical life, which reacts on 
all physiological manifestations, and takes an active part in 
them. Now it is difficult to leave out this important element, or 
to include it in the method of counter-proof. 

Nevertheless, the reality of the phenomena of co-ordination, 
joined with the direct and equally incontestable influence of 
milieu on individuals, makes evident the changes which man 


has undergone owing to external conditions. Thus we have 
noticed one after another nearly all the prominent parts of the 
human organism. All are susceptible to impression by the 
conditions of the milieu and undergo modification under its 
influence. The ensemble of these modifications, which distinguish 
human beings from one another and suffer us to divide them 
into different varieties, constitute what we have decided to call 
the human races. In beginning with the skull and euding 
with the colour of the skin, the stature, the hair, the forms of face 
and nose,the mouth, the ears and the skeleton in general, we see 
them all bending before the full action of the milieu. Where 
the direct action is not sufficient to explain in detail the changes 
which have been wrought, co-ordination of traits comes in as a 
supplementary explanation. 

It is in virtue of this law of equilibrium, correlation or co- 
ordination, that wherever one part of our organism varies, there 
takes place a parallel modification of other parts. 

From the moment the milieu begins to act as a cause of 
modification, it may be logically admitted that the moment 
the cause ceases to act the effect likewise disappears. But 
there is another side to the question which is not so self- 
evident. When we place a man in a given milieu who has 
acquired a certain anthropological type in another place, how 
will this new influence operate ? Will it merely graft itself 
on the old type and so cause the rise of fresh characteristics 
radically opposed to those already created ? In order to con- 
firm such a solution, it would be first of all necessary to admit 
a sort of hereditary and age-long inflexibility of acquired 
characteristics. But there is nothing to guarantee that this 
supposition is well founded. The acquired characteristics or 
modifications which have taken place in the living organism 
remind us of the movements of a pendulum which makes a 
number of more or less extended oscillations. The distance of 
removal from the centre is greater for plants and animals than 
for men. In every case the starting-point, that is, the original 
form, maintains the equilibrium of movement and prevents its 
going off at a tangent. 

Thus under the influence of the milieu we obtain plants 
which are all but new species. This is more difficult in the 


case of animals, and absolutely impossible in the case of men. 
In comparing the most disparate varieties, such as a white 
fair-haired dolichocephal, deemed the most noble representative 
of mankind, and a Bushman of a tawny yellow colour, and 
lozenge face and very pronounced cheek bones, less variations 
are found between them than, for example, between Kirghiz 
sheep and the wild sheep (Ovis montana) which live in the 
mountainous parts of North America. 

Between the men of the Cro-Magnon race, with their tall 
stature, platycnemic tibia, prognathic face, &c., &c., and those of 
our time, the differences are far from being as considerable 
as between the skeletons of Bos found in a fossil state in the 
late tertiary deposits of Europe and the skeletons of modern 

The more we study the transformations of man down the ages 
the more we perceive that the milieu has changed the surface of 
his biological organisation without ever succeeding in changing 
its essential character. 

Man evolves like all organised beings, but his evolution takes 
an ideal and mental form rather than a concrete and physio- 
logical one. Nothing is more natural ! Man from the time of 
his appearance on the earth appears to be distinct from other 
living beings in the fact of a more intense mentality which has 
played and still continues to play a preponderant part in his 
march through life, and which will go on acting in the future. 
This it is which has enabled him to raise himself more and more 
in the animal scale, and to subject other organic beings to his 
will and to serve his purposes. If he varies down the ages, these 
modifications bear in particular on his intellectual faculties, and 
on the vast domain of their conquests, that is to say, his social, 
moral and intellectual life. 

In comparing that same White with the Bushman, we easily 
perceive that the distinction between their mentalities and the 
consequences which follow on this distinction are much more 
considerable than all the variations established between their 
cephalic indices, or the construction of their skeletons. With 
this difference so formulated, it is evident that the gulf which 
separates human beings is particularly deep on the intellectual 
and moral side. 


The evolution of man has never resulted in irremediable 
or insuperable deviations in the matter of encephalon. In 
reviewing all the craniological scales and in studying all the 
foundations whereon is based the division of humanity, nowhere 
have we met with an organic condemnation of any race 
whatever on the ground of its intellectual faculties. Man, 
however backward he may be found in the matter of his 
intellectual development, never loses the right of aspiring to 
elevate himself above his surroundings. Twenty years of intel- 
lectual work has often proved sufficient for a representative 
of the Maori, Zulu, Red Skin or Negro races to win back in his 
individual self the centuries of mental arrest or mental sleep 
experienced by his congeners. This property common to all 
human beings provides them at once with a trait of ineffaceable 
equality. One might speak of these faculties as the common 
foundations whereon the circumstances of physiological and 
physical life construct all kinds of buildings. 

But this common primordial property, the soul, the conscience, 
the mentality for the name matters little also makes impres- 
sions on the physiological life of man by leaps. Owing to psychic 
force, man has been able to overcome all the obstacles of nature 
and to transplant himself to all geographical latitudes. Owiug 
to it he has been able to make himself master of the world. 
And this property common to man has given him everywhere 
a uniform stamp. It has prevented human varieties from 
varying too far from the common trunk which is the primordial 
regulator of their life and acts. And if man owes to it all the 
benefits of his moral and intellectual existence, he owes to it 
first of all his unity. 

Human mentality shows numerous gradations. Between the 
Toupi-Guarani with other cannibals and the modern French, 
there is a whole world of separation with regard to their 
manner of living, feeling and thinking. Nevertheless it would 
be enough for one or two human generations of Toupi living 
on the basis of European civilisation to fill up the moral 
and mental lacunae which separate them from an ordinary 

All the condemnations of peoples and races in virtue of an 
innate superiority or inferiority have in reality failed. Life has 


taught us to be more circumspect in our judgments. A 
savant who presumes to pronounce a verdict of eternal barbarism 
against any people deserves to be laughed at. 

Civilisation indeed has had some singular experiences during a 
century. Let us remember, for example, that in the time of the 
Encyclopaedists, savants like d'Alembert and even Diderot 
refused to concede to the Russians the possibility of becoming 
civilised after the European manner. 

The following century was destined to give them the lie, for 
it gave to this people consigned to barbarity thinkers and 
writers who are accounted among the guiding spirits of modern 
humanity. If the Russian nation shall arrive some day at enjoy- 
ing that liberty whereby it may develop unimpeded its moral and 
intellectual faculties, the cause of progress shall have counted a 
hundred million workers more ! 

This possibility of developing the faculty of thinking implies 
at the same time the faculty of benefiting by its age-long 
conquests. It is thus that the peoples who approach tardily 
towards civilisation succeed in easily regaining the time lost 
throughout their period of barbarism. The complex world 
of culture opens out at once before a people who begin to 
draw from its source. Together with European thought they 
appropriate its social and political advantages, its discoveries 
and inventions. They enter thus abruptly within the space of 
a generation into the great civilised family, and benefit by its 
institutions which were formed after centuries of persevering 

The Negroes, for example, whom it is desired to class among 
the most inferior races, astonish, as we shall see later on, all 
those who study their history without prejudice by their 
progress, which is altogether amazing. Fifty years ago those 
of the Southern States did not possess a hundred hectares of 
land. To-day the number of negro landed proprietors exceeds 
130,000 and represents a value of 1,500,000,000 francs, whereas 
they all are worth more than four thousand millions. The 
balance sheet of the last fifty years of this race's existence, 
which race was believed to be predestined to " eternal servitude " 
under men of ivory or brown colour, is a fact which should make 
the experts of human inequality pause and ponder. 


Community of life also fashions the physiological qualities 
of man. We thus find ourselves in a vicious circle, in a 
continual come and go of influences which tend towards human 

Above the one and the same layer of intellectual and 
psychical life which is common to all men, other layers are 
superimposed, formed by the ambient milieu. When this last 
varies, the acquired characteristics also vary. And if there are 
some modifications which appear more durable or ineffaceable, 
we must not forget that it is necessary to judge their persistence 
less by the number of years than by that of human generations. 

Regarded from this point of view, the characteristic traits of 
races show a very moderate persistency. When we reflect that 
civilisation benefits humanity by an innumerable number of 
analogous influences, it may be easily understood that these 
tend more and more towards unification. At the spectacle of 
the approximation of types which is thus manifested in humanity, 
the anthropologists who are most inclined to divide it are 
driven to admit that the time is near when Race-anthropologists 
may be compelled to seek their proofs and materials exclusively 
among the history of extinct peoples and tribes I 




Is it possible to enclose in a logical formula the very character 
and hopes of a people or race ? This question goes far beyond 
its theoretical bearing. Parallel to the exclusive doctrines of 
races which are based on anthropological data, we see the rise of 
a new branch of psychology, which also, leaning on anthro- 
pology, endeavours to link together the past, present, and even 
the future of great human agglomerations in exact definitions. 
One people is designated as possessing a bilious temperament, 
proud and cruel, feeble in will power, lacking tenderness and 
goodness, and non-moral, though strongly religious. Another 
people adds to its sanguine temperament a realistic and 
practical genius, a lust of conquest, an unscrupulous spirit, 
criminal aspirations. To one pertain all the virtues, to another 
all the vices. Some are endowed with every quality which 
can create admirable peoples and individuals. Others are 
charged with all the sins of Israel. Were it only a matter 
of an innocent arrangement of grandiloquent words, one might 
make fun of this new science (?), which deduces its laws 
from the imagination and, what is worse, from the passions 
of its creators. But this new scientific plaything aspires to 
higher things. It is especially used as a weapon in the 
relations between one people and another. Certain sociologists, 
and these not the least, even see in its teaching positive indica- 
tions for the guidance of public affairs. Certain peoples are 
thus mistrusted, their unhappy representatives kept well at 
arm's length, whilst others are accepted and regarded as choice 
friends and desirable allies. 

N 2 


This doctrine has already to its account many wholesale 
condemnations, forcing on our attention numerous apologies 
for "superior" and much contempt for "inferior" nations. 

All the more illimitable in that it soars outside concrete 
facts, the psychology of peoples includes all and touches all. 
Morality, science, philosophy, economic and social life, crimi- 
nality, alcoholism, politics, religion, everything, in short, serves 
as matter for discussion and dogmatic conclusion. Not con- 
tent with occupying its attention with the present, it summons 
the past before its tribunal and formulates previsions for the 

Let us take one of its most circumspect, luminous and at the 
same time most impartial representatives, M. Alfred Fouille'e. 
Optimistic by nature and even touched with scepticism as 
regards anthropological exaggerations, he brings his reserves 
and scruples where his co-religionists have only condemnations 
or wholesale benedictions to pronounce. Nevertheless it is 
sufficient to examine his Psychologie du Peuple franfais ; his 
Temperament et Caractere or the Esquisse psychologique des Peuples 
enrope'ens in order to show how far the aberrations of this new 
quasi-science can extend. Carried away by his subject, he also 
sets himself to distribute his rewards and modified censures on 
the mysterious aspirations of the peoples and their innate or 
hereditary virtues or vices. 

Looked at from this point of view the psychology of peoples 
descends to the level of the psychology of novels. It treats 
national or racial groups as good or bad, base or noble, virtuous 
or vicious, modest or arrogant, just as the novel presents us 
with good or bad individuals, base or noble, virtuous or vicious, 
modest or arrogant. As the individual has created the Deity after 
his own image, he has created the collective soul after the fashion 
of his own individual soul. M. Gumplowicz even says that if it 
is difficult for us to foresee what the individual will do in a given 
case, we can predict exactly with regard to ethnical or social 
groups, viz. tribes, peoples, social or professional classes. 
Starting from such a point, sociologists like G. Le Bon, Stewart 
Chamoeriain, Lapouge or G. Sergi threaten us with the decay 
of the Latin races just as so many others threaten us with 


the inevitable hegemony of the Germanic races, Slavs and 

This psychology, however, is always invented after the event. 
It consecrates and glorifies success and breathes disdain on 
defeat. One people which is fortunate and prosperous in its 
economic and social life is pronounced superior. Another which 
is the victim of the complex circumstances which influence the 
life of every community is regarded as essentially inferior. 
Germany after the victorious war of 1870 has in this way been 
raised on a pinnacle as summing up all the virtues. Yet when 
we think of the events of this unfortunate war, the chances of 
which could so easily have been favourable to France (see 
on this subject the studies of Bleibtreu and Commandant 
Picard), we tremble on account of the superior qualities 
of Germany which at the same stroke would have become 

What value can we attribute to the psychology of peoples 
living in the full force of evolution and transformation if it 
has failed in the case of peoples and races which have 
disappeared ? 

What people, for example, has been more studied than the 
ancient Greeks ? The literature on this subject is the most ex- 
tensive and the best supported. The number of volumes which 
tell of Greece is much superior to the number of its inhabitants 
under Pericles. Yet in spite of all the sides of its life thus 
opened to our gaze, we are unable to furnish an exact definition 
of its soul. According to Renan, the Greeks were the least 
religious people in the world. According to Fustel de 
Coulanges, the Greek life incarnates the religious life par 


As a typical example of the invincible difficulties which 
bar the way to savants of this class we will consider the 
Celtic case, a case which is all the more important in that 
on its elucidation depends the fate of the psychology of the 
principal civilised peoples, French, English, German and 
Italian. As long as the balance sheet of the Celtic heritage is 


not drawn up, it becomes impossible to discuss the aspirations 
and contents of the modern soul. Ethnical psychology has so 
well understood this that far from considering the present state 
of the Celtic question which prevents all generalisation, it 
merely leans on a Celtic science designed for its own special 
use. Every psychologist has recourse in this way to his own 
"personal" science, and paints the Celts according to the needs 
of his own temperament and cause. 

Among learned Celticists, Renan belongs to the most 
authoritative, he himself being the most finished and repre- 
sentative Celtic type. He tried from his childhood to penetrate 
the Celtic soul, and he continued to study it throughout his life. 
But this ingenious and delicate psychologist, instead of giving 
us the Celtic portrait, only provided us with his own. All the 
words and all the phrases which Renan uses to describe the soul 
of his race furnish us, in short, with that exclusive and exquisite 
soul of Renan himself. " Grace of imagination, the ideal of 
gentleness and beauty made the supreme object of existence, 
charming modesty, feminism," &c., are so many gifts which dis- 
tinguish the subtle savant himself. At the time when Renan was 
painting idyllic pictures of the life of the Celts, the works of 
Gaidoz, Loth, d'Arbois de Jubainville, Le Braz, Dottin, &c., had 
not yet appeared. The little, however, which we have learnt 
since about them proves that these supposed Celts with the 
souls of women, tender and delicate, enamoured of beauty and 
dreams, were merely rude barbarians passionately enamoured of 
fighting. The few epics preserved in Irish manuscripts of the 
twelfth century only breathe war and action. They are all 
Cath (fights), Orgain (massacres), Togail (storming of strong- 
holds), Tain (cattle-lifting) and Aithed (stealing of women). All 
these poems only sing of barbarism and a society founded on 
the principle of war. They tear one another on all occasions, 
and the chiefs of the people fight like simple individuals. 
The battle finished in this world continues in the other, and 
the poet himself is taken up to chant the exploits of war. 
War everywhere and always. The Druids only play a part 
because of their magical formulas which tell against the 
enemy ; by means of their chants they excite courage and 
bravery. The king of the dead, Labraid, is only venerated 


by the Celts as vanquisher of warriors and " a quick handler 
of the sword." 

The bravest of warriors, prouder than the seas ! 
He looks for carnage and is exceedingly beautiful ! 
thou who attackest warriors, greet Labraid. 1 

The Renanist conceptions on the ideal love of Celts for 
women have undergone the same overthrow. When in the 
light of recent discoveries we study the inner life of the Celts, 
we are surprised at their contempt for women and at their 
sensual inclinations. The wife is merely a tool for the procre- 
ation of male infants who are necessary for war. The woman is 
sold and passes from hand to hand at the customary price of 
three horned cattle. 

And consider what follows as exemplifying the melancholy, 
languid and dreamy soul of Celtic women ! In the heart of the 
lovely Derdriu, divine love awakes at the sight of a calf skinned 
in the snow, the blood of which a raven comes to drink. When 
she chooses her lover Naoise, she yields to his wishes because 
she desires a lusty young lover such as he is ! 

M. Fouille'e, altogether devoted to the old theories, still 
continues to speak of the Celts as peaceful par excellence. In 
taking his stand on this essential quality of their temperament 
he regales us with some delicious pages whose only fault is that 
they are terribly fantastical ! 2 

"The Celt as a rule supplements this insufficiency of his 
voluntary activity with passive resistance. He is a gentle 
obstinate. Moreover, not feeling very strong alone, he has an 
instinctive tendency to seek strength in union. . . . For the 
same reason he is peaceful by nature. Wounds and knocks are 
not to his liking. " 

"They do not feel the need of traversing the globe, to 
shoot arrows into the sky or to fight against the sea. . . . They 
love their native soil and are attached to their families," 

But here a few pages further on in M. FouilleVs book we find 
a quotation from Grant Allen which he appears to adopt on his 
own account, to the effect that " the Celt has an indomitable 
passion for danger and adventure " ! 

1 H. d'Arbois de Jubainville, VEpoptt cellique en Irlande. 
Psychologie du Peuple fran$aia. 


Again, when it is a matter of discussing the value of the 
warlike spirit, M. Fouill^e defends his beloved Celts and says 
that they also have in their favour " great invasions and great 

The reader, thus bewildered, asks himself whether after all the 
Celts were peaceful or warlike. Were they distinguished by 
their love of the fireside or their thirst for adventure ? 

We are still more bewildered in face of the deductions 
drawn from Celtic psychology, relative to the modern French. 
They tell us without flinching that " the will among the French 
people has preserved the explosive, centrifugal and rectilineal 
characteristic which it had already among the Gauls." " Like 
our ancestors (we are also told), we often push courage even to 
temerity " ! 

Learned anthropo-psychologists proceed in this way to en- 
large on this Celto-Gaulish subject in volume after volume. 
Now the person who wishes to take the opposite side can 
do so without running the risk of offending the truth, for the 
simple reason that we know almost nothing about the life of the 
Celts. " Of their gods we know almost nothing. In the ancient 
period we only know the assimilations made by Greek and 
Latin writers, which are no doubt superficial. In the Romano- 
Gallic period, some Celtic surnames of local divinities reveal 
to us a Gaulish pantheon very different from that which the 
authors of antiquity have described." * 

What is the contribution of the Gauls to the cults of stones, 
fire or water which existed in Gaul long before their arrival ? 
We shall never know, for, according to the statement of the same 
author, in this cemetery of past religions " the inscriptions are 
worn, the tombs empty and the graves in disorder." They 
teach us nothing save that we walk on the dust of the dead. 

Refuge has been sought among the Bretons. According to 
many linguists and anthropologists, these are true Celts left 
to us by the past in order to furnish us with the solution of 
all the problems concerning the Gauls. Nevertheless, modern 
Bretonists tell us without circumlocution that the door is 
equally closed on this side and that, in the fifth century of 
our era, Roman Brittany was inhabited by a Romano-Gallic 
1 G. Dottin, La Religion des Celtes. 


population like the rest of Gaul. It is true that, later on, Celts 
much less Romanised came from Great Britain, but this 
stream of immigration ceased towards the tenth century. The 
Breton population was much reduced as the result of incessant 
warfare, their language retreated and Brittany passed under 
French influence. 

Where then is the Celtic soul to be found ? Is it in their 
much praised drama, which has already cost us such hard 
study ? " Where we looked for a national drama, nourished with 
the ingenious fictions and the heroic passions of the race," so 
speaks A. Le Braz, 1 " Ireland, unhappy Ireland, comes empty- 
handed, Wales and Cornwall show us some dull Anglo-Norman 
imitations, and our motherly Brittany bends her shoulders under 
a load of French mystery-plays." 

" That which we improperly call Breton originality (the same 
author tells us elsewhere) is in the last analysis only a remnant 
of mediaeval times which only appears as original in Brittany 
because elsewhere it has been abolished for some five centuries." l 

Is it in those megalithic monuments (dolmens, menhirs, 
cromlechs) with which Brittany so abounds ? But archaeology 
has refused to see in them the work of Celts, and this simply 
because they are not to be met with in other countries peopled 
by Celts, like Bavaria, Bohemia, and Upper Italy. Moreover, 
their existence in countries where there were no Celts such as 
Algeria, Western Sweden, and Denmark, is established, Con- 
sequently we have here a mysterious people who preceded the 
Celts and of whom we are as entirely ignorant as we are of 
their name. 

Lastly, we have recourse to the language of the ancient 
Celts. Alfred Holder, in his Altcdtischer Sprachsatz, still un- 
finished, has collected more than 30,000 words. But this treasury 
must not astound us ! " The proper names are in enormous 
proportion, and as for the others we can only explain 150."* 

Again, it is necessary to state that all the words handed down 

1 Essai sur I'Histoire, du TMdtre Celtigue. 

3 Dottin, La Langue dea Anciena Cdtea. 

Let us state that the University of Rennes has the honour of counting among 
its professors several Celticists of high repute, including the celebrated gram- 
marian, M. G. Dottin, MM. A. Le Braz, Loth, &c. The work, La Langue du 
Anciena Cdtea, has not yet appeared. But the author has kindly allowed me 
to see the proofs. 


by the authors of antiquity which are neither Greek nor Latin 
are made to appear in Celtic vocabularies. They may just as 
well be Ligurian, Iberian or Germanic as Celtic. 

As for the words which the writers of the Middle Ages give 
us as Gaulish, they clearly belong to the vulgar language 
spoken in Gaul which had not at that time a Celtic dialect. 

Let us not be discouraged. Is there no Breton literature ? 
Yes, it exists, but its texts only date from the fifteenth cen- 
tury after Christ. What is more amusing is that they are 
borrowed for the most part, like the Breton drama, from French 

A last source remains, the popular Breton songs (gwerz) 
which La Villemarqu6 wished to ascribe almost to prehistoric 
times. But to-day we are forced to admit, owing to the con- 
scientious collections of Luzel, that the giverz are decidedly 
modern and that there are none dating from before the 
seventeenth century ! 

The provoking Bretonists of Rennes allow us nothing. Have 
they not proved that the famous Breton pantaloons (bragou-braz) 
have nothing Celtic about them ! 

Thus as we draw nearer to the Celtic race, its " mirage " 
vanishes. A mystery inherent in this people envelops all its 
existence, its wanderings, its thought, its life. We know very 
few things for certain about it saving perhaps that it existed 
without our being able to locate its origins or its frontiers. So 
the collective psychology of the Celt, which can only be based 
on concrete and positive knowledge, becomes in this way an 
almost impossible creation. Nevertheless it attracts and 
seduces thousands of historians, philosophers and sociologists. 
Let us quote a few haphazard. 

When Mommsen speaks of the Celts, be certain that he will 
know how to astonish us in the same way as his illustrious 
predecessors. He carefully ascribes to them all the virtues and 
all the vices which Germans are generally pleased to bestow on 
the modern French ! According to this great historian, the latter 
being only vulgar Celts must already in the past have borne 
their moral impress. In our days Heinrich Driessmann only 
sees in European history the antagonism between two dominant 
races, the Celtic and the Germanic. For him this is the key to all 


the catastrophes of the past. It goes without saying that the 
Teutons enjoy all his tenderness and the Celts all his hard 
words. The Celts are the amusers of the world and its 
revolutionaries; the Teutons, its thinkers. The English 
Revolution was caused by the upheaval of the Teutons against 
the Celts ; that of France by that of the Celts against the Teutons. 
This is why in England all goes well whilst in France every- 
thing goes helter-skelter ! 

The essays of this kind of psychology are very often reduced 
to a most insipid verbiage. It may be said that this pseudo- 
science is only composed of a number of stereotyped phrases 
which experts are ever manipulating as it serves their fancy. 
We notice, for example, that when Giesebrecht, the celebrated 
German historian, wished to describe the ancient Germanic 
peoples, he had recourse to the same stock in trade of panegyrics 
which Thierry had used to exalt the Gauls ! 


The life of peoples and the mass of their aspirations are so 
complex that in the impossibility of embracing them all, every ob- 
server attaches himself in particular to the sides which most strike 
his imagination. In the sympathetic or unsympathetic portrait of 
a people, it is the individuality of the artist rather than that of 
his models which appears to view. When hatred or infatuation, 
entering into party spirit, darken the clear vision of the author 
we have before us only false or caricatured images. What 
increases the difficulties is the incredible quantity of data which 
this science has to make use of in giving more or less hazardous 
verdicts. Its conclusions touch all spheres of the abstract and 
concrete life of a people, so that the person who formulates them 
must have an " innumerable heart " and in his brain an 
unfathomable spring of knowledge. In beginning with the 
mathematical sciences and ending with history, linguistics and 
literature, he must be familiar with everything. Inasmuch as 
the soul of a people manifests itself as much in its actions as in 
its ideal aspirations, he who would judge it must know how to 
hear and comprehend the least perceptible beatings of its heart 


He must know its intellectual treasures, its arts and its poetry ; 
its crimes and its virtues ; the visible actions of its politics 
and its invisible tendencies ; its social and private ethics ; the 
extent of its altruistic sentiments and also the force of its 
egoism. Moreover, it would be enough to let a few errors slip 
into this vast work in order to derange its mechanism and 
annul its value. 

The coryphees of this fatalistic psychology console themselves 
with the thought that their large frescoes are so much the 
more true to life in that " they leave many details in semi- 
obscurity, in order to place the essential traits in full light." 
But they appear to forget that the essential traits are only the 
result of these manifold details. Before fixing a label on the 
soul of a people, one must know exactly the machinery of its 
working. Here, as in a chemical analysis, there are no 
negligible constituent principles. The traits which differentiate 
souls are often only shadowy. When it is a matter of analysing 
the logical significance of a phrase, it is necessary to explain the 
number, nature and composition of all the propositions, in order 
to distinguish and determine the different forms. If we leave 
out one or some propositions our work is faulty at the base and 

The disadvantage becomes still greater when it is a question 
of the very complex and, at the same time, very delicate 
analysis of the mysterious motives of our actions. The most 
conscientious among the doctrinaires of collective souls remind 
us of those metaphysicians who, in studying the phenomena of 
the beyond, always console themselves with the thought that 
they only lack the little bridge to connect the things of the 
earth with those of the invisible world. Nevertheless, this " little 
bridge " was never created nor discovered, so that ontology has 
ended in bankruptcy ! 

Let us see, for example, how the most authoritative among 
the sociologists justify their collective psychology of peoples. 
The problem, however difficult it may be, does not appear to 
them insoluble, for this simple reason, that "the natural 
character pertains to the temperament and the constitution, which 
themselves pertain to the race and the physical milieu. Thus 
the component traits of races begin to become known. We can 


in a very general way how the physical and also the 
psychical constitutions of Teuton and Celt, Slav and Iberian, 1 
are distinguished." It is enough to examine these justifying 
arguments in order to reject the theory altogether. 

As many foundations, so many great unknown ! How can 
this quantity of X furnish us with the desired solution ? If the 
character pertains to the temperament, this last itself remains 
fluent and indefinite. It varies in particular, according to the 
individual, and it is as impossible to erect a psychological structure 
on this principle as to erect a monument on the flowing water of 
a river. A more important matter is that all these constructors 
fasten on racial origin as their principal foundation. But 
nothing is more chaotic and uncertain than the genealogical 
descent of any people whatsoever. The ethnical influences are 
everywhere intermingled, and the majority of the European 
peoples, to mention only these, show a most varied commingling 
of blood. When we consider more closely the ethnical history 
of peoples we perceive the impossibility of gauging their 

Let us admit, however, that some day we shall succeed (?) in 
defining exactly the racial composition of the nations and in 
pointing out the approximate percentage of Celts, Teutons, 
Slavs, Negroes and Mongols, contributing to their formation. 
There then remains to be shown what is the relative influence 
of each of these elements ! It is outside all possibility that the 
formation of the collective soul can be considered as a simple 
alloy ! 

The small quantity of Normans who invaded England exercised 
a much greater influence on it than the more numerous Teutons 
who preceded them. The French refugees, after the revocation 
of the Edict of Nantes, profoundly influenced the Germanic 
soul and civilisation in spite of their small number. The advent 
of Bernadotte and his few followers in Sweden left imperishable 
traits in the evolution of the collective life of that country. After 
having thus analysed the composition of blood quantitatively, we 
still cannot say anything in what concerns the moral changes 
which must ensue. Thus after having proved that the Celts 

1 Fouiltee, Eaquisse psychologique de Peuplea europtent. Preface. (Pri 
F. Alcan.) 


have furnished the French people with one-third or nine-tenths 
of its blood, we can infer from this nothing positive as regards 
their character. 

Moreover, we only know a number of contradictory things 
on the collective soul of these constituent elements, namely, 
Celts, Teutons, Slavs and Hungarians. How then can we con- 
struct anything with this fluent matter which slips between our 
fingers ! 

We have pointed out above the flagrant contradictions which 
exist between the definitions given of the Celts in the matter of 
moral factors as serious as their sexual and social life. Never- 
theless this is one of the most studied of European races. Even 
now after being confronted with thousands of volumes which 
deal with their past in all its forms, we are unable to say 
whether the Celts were not Germanic people under another 
name ! And even those who are agreed to differentiate be- 
tween them are not at one on the places where they sojourned. 
According to d'Arbois de Jubainville, it is France which was 
especially peopled by Germanic peoples and Germany by the 
Gauls, that is, by the Celts ! 

Whereas we believe that the Celts were settled in Gaul and 
elsewhere from time immemorial, we only find them mentioned 
for the first time in the fifth century by Hecataeus of Miletus 
(died in 475 before Christ). He does it in a very vague and 
uncertain fashion. In speaking of Marseilles, he notices it as a 
town of the Ligures (Liguria) near the Celtic. 

If we consider the Ligures and the Iberians, who have likewise 
contributed towards fashioning the soul of the European peoples, 
our data are still poorer and uncertain. 

The light of history, generally uncertain, is singularly obscure 
on the subject of the mysterious origins of peoples. Their 
ethnical composition is a matter of indifference to the chroniclers 
of the past. Anthropology, on the other hand, is one of 
Science's youngest children. 

When it came into the world, it was only able to relieve the 
absence of sure and positive information by means of philo- 
sophical speculations and hypotheses more or less plausible. 

In order to fill the lacunae, they had recourse to archaeology 
which was within the bounds of possibility, and to protohistory 


or prehistory (palethnology) which was within the bounds of 
impossibility. But all such data brought together, as we have 
shown elsewhere, are most problematic. 

So much for the history and the composition of races in the past. 
The analysis of their blood is beyond our powers, so that the 
gauging of their constituent elements becomes in this way 
altogether impracticable. 

Supposing we admit that science, older by a few centuries, 
will succeed some day in deciphering the impenetrable mysteries 
of the origin of races. Still we shall not for that be 
much more advanced. There would still remain for 
definition the character and the qualities of soul of the 
" constituents." 

But it is sufficient to have read a certain number of the 
collective psychologies of the same people what am I saying ? 
to have studied one isolated and striking manifestation of its 
intellectual and social activity, in order to see the difficulty of 
the task. 


Taine may be regarded as one of the savants who have done 
most for this new science. Furnished with a sure erudition and 
gifted with a genial critical spirit, he applied himself to making 
those syntheses or "tableaux d' ensemble" which enjoy so exceptional 
a notoriety among the anthropo-psychologists. One loves to quote 
his judgments on the English, Germans, Italians and French. 
To him is currently attributed the merit of having been able 
to decipher their souls and of having supplied us with a photo- 
graphic image of them. It is sufficient, however, for one grain 
of Pascalian sand to enter into a vast brain in order to derange 
all its machinery. Stirred by the noble desire of showing 
himself to be courageous to excess and independent in thought, 
even at the expense of his own country, he unconsciously glided 
as far as to apologise for it in his psychology of the German 
people. The French nation thereby descended by several 
degrees lower than the conventional estimate. We thus read 
in Taine 1 enthusiastic praises lavished on the Germans, on their 

1 Hittoire d la Literature anglaue. Vol. L 


inventive, original and quick spirit, their native culture, created 
and grown on the soil itself. Germany, according to Taine, 
created all the ideas of the nineteenth century. France merely 
dished them up. 

German genius at the end of the eighteenth century gave 
birth to new metaphysics, a new theology, a new poetry, a new 
literature, which is a somewhat large order ! 

The conception of original ideas is, according to Taine, the 
dominant faculty of the German people. 

But at this very period France gloried in possessing 
men of genius like Laplace, Lavoisier, Lamarck, Bichat, 
Cuvier, to mention but a few. 

France, however, has endorsed this fantastical judgment of 
Taine ! 

But Zeller, the justly reputed Alsatian historian, tries to 
demonstrate exactly the contrary. With the same stroke he 
demolished both this collective psychology of the German and 
the erroneous historical comments which served to support it, 
as being false from one end to the other. 

We see before us the same facts, but the way of presenting 
them changes their aspect completely. The Germans, as 
original thinkers and creators of a special culture, are for 
Zeller pure imitators. As a civilised land, so this historian tells 
us, Germany is only the child of Gaul and of Rome. She has 
received every thing from, the outside chivalry, civic liberty, the 
idea of Empire, her letters and her sciences, her universities 
(copied from those of Paris), her Gothic art (originally from 
France), even to her religious toleration, a thing little known in 
Germany. Zeller states that from Caesar and Tacitus up till 
Charlemagne, Germania presents the rare spectacle in history of 
a civilisation absolutely stationary, absolutely barbaric, and 
that for eight centuries. Germany, he tells us elsewhere, 
has never made progress she has simply submitted to 

Mommsen, on the other hand, who ignores the fact that 
Germany is more Celtic than Germanic, stamps with disdain 
on the Celtic race as good for nothing, incapable in politics, 
without originality or depth, and exalts the Germanic peoples 
as a superior race, intellectually and morally. 


It is enough to place side by side the opinions expressed by 
the most eminent writers on the same people, or, still better, 
on any trait whatsoever regarded as dominant in its character, 
in order to perceive the impossibility of arriving at a weighty 
opinion worthy of the attention of all impartial observers. 

Every description of a psychological and collective quality, 
even when this quality forms the essential trait of a people or 
race, meets with insurmountable difficulties. What is to be 
said then of a definition of a mass of qualities, a kind of crys- 
tallisation of a hundred of these characteristic traits each of 
which is beyond our investigation? Let us consider a concrete 

In order to have a plausible psychology of the French people, 
it is naturally necessary to make the French mind and genius 
enter into it. All the world seems to be at one on this, that 
what distinguishes the French nation intellectually and morally 
from all other nations is chiefly the quality of its mind and 
genius. But what is this French mind ? What are its essential 
qualities ? Wherein is it to be distinguished from the mind 
arid genius of the German, Russian or English ? Can a 
foreigner assimilate it to such a degree that he can be no longer 
distinguished from a Frenchman ? 

With the aid of certain savants and writers, the most repre- 
sentative of French thought that could well be found, I tried to 
elucidate this question in 1898. About thirty psychologists, 
novelists, poets, philosophers and professors were kind enough 
to send me, in reply to my inquiries on this subject, profound 
and luminous pages which demonstrate in their effect the abso- 
lute impossibility of a precise definition of the French mind. 1 
According to M. Paul Bourget, we ought to question even the 
reality of these very popular formulas, the French mind, the 
Anglo-Saxon mind, &c. They are labels which disguise abstrac- 
tions, and " to confine myself to France and its literature (he 
writes) what common definition is there which could apply to 

1 All the articles appeared in La Revue (formerly Remit des Revuet), July 
1st, 1898. This number is completely exhausted, and is no longer procurable. 



Pascal and Voltaire, to Rabelais and Boileau, to Montesquieu 
and Hugo, to Racine and Balzac ? These are all, however, 
French geniuses." According to M. Jules Claretie, "what is 
clear, luminous and generous is altogether French, but this 
clearness does not exclude depth. Add also, horror of all 
affectation and cheap pedantry." 

M. Francois Coppee tells us " that it is only in France that 
one knows how to be strong without being heavy, and deep with- 
out becoming obscure." 

M. Michel Breal does not think that the qualities " amiable 
and strong, brilliant and sensible, spiritual and enthusiastic " 
are exclusively vested in the French, but are only to be found 
here more frequently than elsewhere. M. Anatole France, 
however, distinguishes " a certain spirit of order, of measure, of 
clarity which is not to be found elsewhere, although all great 
writers in all languages have clarity, measure and order. But 
it is another order, another measure, another clarity." Accord- 
ing to M. Urbain Gohier, " it is truly rash to take as character- 
istics of the French mind qualities which are in our literature 
the note par excellence of many foreigners. In the generally 
accepted sense, there were never writers more French than the 
English Hamilton, the Swiss Rousseau, the Italian de Maistre, 
the German Heine and the Mulatto Dumas." And this supposed 
" measure " and " clarity," which apparently constitute the most 
incontestable heritage of the French mind, are ground to powder 
by M. Remy de Gourmont, who tells us that " neither Ronsard nor 
Rabelais nor Corneille nor Michelet nor Hugo possess measure, 
taste and clarity." 

M. G. Larroumet, on the other hand, characterises the French 
mind as " the tendency to general ideas, the love of social life, 
a prevailing capacity for eloquence and the drama, the desire for 
clarity and the passion of the intellect." According to Canaille 
Mauclair, all this twaddle must be put on one side, for what 
characterises the French mind " is criticism which is the French 
race itself. Its imagination may be a deformation of the truth 
but never an invention," 

M. Marcel Prevost considers the French mind to be clear, syn- 
thetic, loving and respectful of rules ; to sum up, " clearness, 
taste for ideas and general methods, classical spirit." 


M. E. Rod hesitates before the difficulty of a definition, but he 
believes that this mind exists, and that " it is not that of other 
peoples." Georges Rodenbach makes pleasant fun of this 
pretention to a monopoly of clarity and taste. " Every writer 
who writes in French is a French witer. . . . The language in 
which he writes classifies him, and not his civil state. . . . 
In truth those who are of French nationality often feel themselves 
to le more different from one another than from a foreigner 
writing in French." 

Francisque Sarcey tells us bluntly that "every book which 
is logically arranged and clear is for that very reason French." 
It is on this ground that " Rousseau and Dumas are excellent 

M. Sully Prudhomme affirms, on the contrary, that there is 
a clearly marked French mind. "If we consider writers of 
different nationalities, we are obliged to recognise that they 
can still less assimilate mutually their respective styles, even 
when nothing is said of their personal qualities, for they differ in 
their very essence through the stable and irreducible character- 
istics of their respective nationalities." 

M. de Vogue thinks the solution of this question well-nigh 
impossible, for " into the domain of intellectuality there enter, 
besides human liberty, many unforeseen variations which 
this liberty allows, as well as numerous cases of individual 

Emile Zola sees the Latins in the French, and "this is the 
great family to oppose to the families of the North." 

We pass over a dozen other writers whose opinions only 
increase the above cacophony. The comparison, however, of 
all these divergent ideas furnishes us with lessons of wide 

This is the "mark" of nationality which appears to be the 
best known, viz. " the French mind." Is it not deemed to be 
the fundamental and inseparable quality of the mentality of 
all French writers and thinkers ? We find this term repeated 
ad infinitum in books and discourses. The learned and vulgar 
use it in and out of season. In its cult, we are told, all the 
people in the world participate ! 

When, however, we try to know what there is behind this 

o 2 


magical term, " French mind or genius," we perceive not only 
that it becomes impossible to define it, but also a matter which 
is more important that every writer understands it in his own 
way. According to some it is in reality the exclusive prerogative 
of the French. According to others, it is only more frequently 
met with in France, whilst certain other writers tell us that the 
qualities which we attribute to it are purely human, and are 
likewise found outside the geographical and ethnical frontiers 
of France ! 

In analysing the essential traits of this " mind or genius," 
each ascribes special qualities to it according to his own 
temperament and the qualities of his own soul. 

A capacity, however, for analysing and determining the views 
of this brilliant group of thinkers and writers goes for nothing. 
They have not succeeded in their task for this simple reason, 
that they had no means of succeeding. In claiming for the 
French mind or genius certain exclusive qualities, they were 
foredoomed to sterile efforts. Our morals, our intellectuality, 
the aspirations of our soul pertain to a certain degree of our 
civilisation, to a certain mode of being and living. They apply 
to individuals, but not to peoples and races. 

The mind of the majority of modern Frenchmen shows a 
dominant note. But this is not irreducible or eternal. It 
changes and will change with the profound modifications 
which our national life will undergo. 


The lack of method which characterises all these generalisa- 
tions is seen when applying them to concrete facts, and to 
individual psychology. 

According to Stewart Chamberlain, Byron was thoroughly 
Germanic, but Driessmann tells us that he was only a vulgar 

His romantic adventures, "so essentially Germanic," which 
appeal to Chamberlain, repel the conscience of Driessmann. 
Did not Byron visit courtesans at Venice, and is not this trait 
pre-eminently Celtic ? l 

1 Keltentum in der Europa'ischen Bluttnischung. 


Cervantes was a great Aryan, so Chamberlain declares with 
emphasis. He was only a Celto-Iberian, so Driessmann replies. 
And whereas Chamberlain sees in the German social democrats 
Jewish types, and Driessmann Celto-Mongols, Woltmann, also 
an anthropo-psychologist of repute, goes into ecstasies over them 
as the most authoritative representatives of the Germanic blood 
and temperament. 1 

Immanuel Kant, the most representative type of German 
thought, is condemned by Otto Wilmann as a bad cosmopolitan, 
who excites himself sometimes on behalf of the English and 
sometimes on behalf of the French ! 

Again, what is to be said of anthropo-psychologists of the 
second order who have not the decency even to give a varnish 
of impartiality to their highly fantastical pictures ! Without 
logic and without scruples they contradict themselves, and at 
the same time contradict reality. 

When we come across such audacious psychology as the 
collective kind of Gobineau and Chamberlain, to mention only 
these two authors, whose influence on the contemporary 
mind is considerable, we are stupefied at the calmness 
with which they never cease modifying their opinion in the 
course of the same book. The same trait of inferiority shown 
in a certain people becomes a proof of superiority when met 
with in another. Dolichocephaly, considered as a first-class 
virtue in the Whites, does not count when found amongst the 
Blacks. In idealising a people or race, they impute to it all 
the virtues, even those which are not of its country or 

Thus Houston Stewart Chamberlain * teaches us that the 
Aryans were never familiar with temples or divinities, and 
that they showed an ideal tolerance. Never, says he, did 
the Indo-Germanic people, that is the Aryans, have recourse 
to a violent propaganda of their beliefs, and to religious 

In order to enhance the civilising virtues of the Germans 

1 Politische Anthropologie. 

Die Grundlagen des XIX Jahrhunderts (Vol. II., 5th ed.). This work 
enjoys very great popularity in all German States, and the Emperor William 
thinks it useful to show publicly his admiration for the author and the theories 
(most contradictory, however) maintained in these volumes. 


he describes in very sombre colours the decay of Rome which 
naturally followed " the chaotic mixture of the blood of races," 
and depicts the Germanic invasion as a veritable salvation 
for humanity. According to this strange savant, mixture of 
races constitutes a real calamity. The Jews have degenerated 
precisely because of the same process which cost Rome her in- 
dependence. All the races throughout history which undergo 
this infusion of blood from the outside, fall for this cause into 
the rank of the degenerate and the inferior. Chamberlain does 
not fail to draw very sorry conclusions from this for the Slavs. 
But in the case of the Prussians, who are only the result of a mix- 
ture wherein the Slav blood predominates, he forgets his beautiful 
theory and gratifies us with enthusiastic paeans in honour of 
this exceptional race. 

It must be remarked that Germany, so dear to Gobineau, 
Lapouge and Chamberlain, is equally guilty of the great crime 
which should consummate her ruin. Has she not mingled her 
original (?) blood with that of Slav races like the Obotrites 
(Mecklenburg) ; Sorbes or Serbes (Brandenburg) ; Welatabs or 
Wiltz (Pomerania), and the Wends, to say nothing of numerous 
Celtic races like the Helvetii, the Tectosages, the Ambrons, 
&c., &c.? 

The following is a still more typical example. The psychology 
of the German people, as Chamberlain understood it, had need 
of certain special adornments in order to please the powerful of 
his day. He wanted to demonstrate that the Teuton had always 
been faithful to his sovereign and to his oath of service The 
author, throwing Germanic history overboard, gravely declares, 
that from all time loyalty and fidelity to kings had been the 
chief characteristic (der bedeutendste Zug) of the German char- 
acter ! 

In order to justify this theory he quotes a few anecdotes, 
negligently disregarding in the meantime the numerous facts 
which proclaimed aloud how monstrous it was. Germanic 
loyalty was, at the very beginning, severely criticised by almost 
all Roman writers. The conduct of Arminius, the conqueror of 
Varus, was deemed even by the ancients a revolting crime in 
inter-racial relations. 


The Franks (and therefore Teutons)," so Vopiscus tells us, 
" smilingly break their promises." l 

In looking through the history of Germany during the Middle 
Ages and even in modern times, we find numerous instances of 
the violation of oaths of fidelity. If their repeated attempts at 
rising did not end in delivering the German people from their 
sovereigns, who were only adored intermittently, it was doubtless 
not because of lack of will. 

In what particularly concerns Prussia, the Knights of the 
Cross, the real founders of the kingdom, would laugh in their 
graves to think of the loyalty and the fidelity with which 
they are credited after their exploits against Poland. And what 
conspiracies against its king has not Germany to its account, 
beginning with that against Charlemagne ! 

The Burgundians in this respect are equal to the Longobards, 
and these last are equal to the Thuringians. " Revolts, 
regicides and treacheries, such is the balance-sheet of the activity 
of German princes " (Dahn). 

It is enough to read the subterfuges to which Chamberlain 
resorts when he would prove, now that Jesus was not Semitic 
and now that his thought was nevertheless Semitic, in order to 
have a clear idea of the scientific processes used by representa- 
tives of the " psychological fatality " of peoples and races. 

If there is any fatality at all, it is this insurmountable 
propensity to preach nonsense which we meet with among the 
majority of anthropo-psychologists. One might say that the 
condemnation of the Lord weighs on their faculty of reasoning. 
Thinkers who are so prudent in other spheres fall in this matter 
into stupefying generalisations. 

De Candolle, in order to explain the superiority of fair-haired 
folk, ventures on a theory which would be unworthy of a child. 
The brown-haired, he tells us, have a much greater vitality than 
the fair-haired. These last, in order not to succumb in the 
struggle, are forced to make greater efforts and to become more 
" spiritualised." 

1 Numerous arguments may be found against this fab* Mxrt JOB d 
berlain, among others, in the work of Jr. Hen, ^odtrm^ MtMHW 
specially written to combat the error* of ChamberUun'i doctna*. 


To see the humour of this imaginary struggle, let us remem- 
ber that the fair-haired and the brown-haired are disseminated 
not only throughout the same races but also the same 
provinces, wards, communes and even in the bosom of the same 
family ! Many brown-haired are found among peoples who are 
emphatically fair, such as the Eskimos ; we also meet with fair 
Negroes. Th. Poesche l dwells on the fact that even in the 
fairest part of Germany the Browns are in the majority. 

Fair-haired people are found in Asia, and Vambe'ry states that 
these constitute the majority among the Turkomans. According 
to Galen and Hippocrates, the Scythians even were fair-haired. 
They are found among the Berbers of Morocco as among the 
Afghans, in short wherever there are brown-haired. 

Driessmann, moreover, tells us that the decay of the fair-haired 
in Germany is only the result of women's bad taste, which 
generally prefers the Browns to the Fairs. 2 

Benjamin Kidd in his psychology, starting from the point 
of view that France is essentially Celtic, continues the use of 
the old stereotyped phrases which served to idealise the Gaulish 
soul and civilisation. This distinguished sociologist, who is per- 
suaded that an impassable wall separates the Celts from the 
Teutons, states that the ethical sense exceeds the aesthetic among 
the Teutons ! What is particularly lacking in them is the ideal- 
ism of the French mind. Although a sincere admirer of France, 
he supposes nevertheless that the Teutonic races have qualities 
which, without being in themselves intellectual, contribute more 
to social power and the domination of the world. Naturally a 
number of other psychologists, on the contrary, oppose German 
idealism to the practical " Ion sens " of the French ! Whilst 
Driessmann says that exact science, which he does not appear to 
appreciate very much, is the work of Celts, Chamberlain ascribes 
it to the Teutons. Starting from this they proceed to depict in 
an entirely different way the scientific aspirations of the repre- 

1 Die Arier. 

a Beddoe, of Clifton, it is true, reproaches Englishmen for the same thing. 
The number of fair women diminishes because English gentlemen prefer brown- 
haired women. Of 100 women, he tells us, with dark, dark brown, light brown, 
fair and red hair, the proportions of the married were 79, 69, 60, 55, and 67 (?) 
(Anthrop. Review, Vol. I., 1864). Thus, with the aid of selection, the fair 
with their virtues and superiority over the brown disappear from the earth ! 


sentative individuals of the two races. Nothing is more "anti- 
Germanic," says Chamberlain, than " universalism," for which 
reason the French Revolution and the work of Napoleon could 
only have been engendered by the Celts ! The Papacy was only 
the daughter of Catholicism, which again is essentially Celtic. 
Woltmann, on the contrary, finds that tendencies to universality 
characterise the Germanic mind and that the Papacy, 
" Napoleonism " and the French Revolution were the work of 
the Teutons I 


Is it astonishing that collective psychology should tremble on 
its foundations, when the simple narrations and the descriptions 
of travellers are often so contradictory ? 

The same peoples who are noble and generous according to 
some are cowardly and degraded according to others. 

The modern Japanese are for some travellers proud and war- 
like, for others peaceful, simple and amiable. 

The Schilluks, whom Schweinfurth ranks among the noblest 
races of Central Africa, are considered by many others as not 
above the level of the monkey. The French, described as im- 
moral and frivolous by many psychologists, are exalted to the 
skies by others, owing to their spirit of economy and the high 
morality of their family life. Statistics also lend themselves to 
misunderstanding and erroneous judgments. 

England, considered by some to be at the height of its glory 
and prosperity, is declared to be decadent by others. A very 
rich country, some say ; in full decrepitude, say others. 

According to some, the Germans, since 1870, have progressed 
morally as well as socially. According to others, they have 
deteriorated from a humane point of view. Some proclaim 
Russia and the Russians young and vigorous ; others only see 
in the Empire of the Tsars a country exhausted and old before 
its time. 

The same peoples are thus judged differently on the same 
data. The apotheosis of some is the anathema of others. When 
we consider all these disparate verdicts we can only place very 
little confidence in anthropo-psychology and its theorists. Their 


phrases, bandied about without rhyme or reason, remind us of 
those games of chance in which cards are arranged in a fan- 
tastic way. There could be applied to some of these judgments 
the reserve which is generally used in matters of taste. One 
must abstain from discussing them. Seeing the complexity of 
their constituent elements and the varieties of ways of looking 
at them, all the conclusions drawn from them can be both main- 
tained and disputed. 


Nevertheless it would be unjust to deny the capital importance 
which the psychology of peoples might have had. If it were 
possible, says Kant, to penetrate sufficiently into the character 
of a man or of a people, if all the circumstances which act on 
individual and collective wills were known, we could then 
calculate exactly what the conduct of a man or a people would 
be as we calculate an eclipse of the sun or moon. Unfortunately, 
this desire somewhat resembles the pretensions of the possessor 
of a rather more than modest fortune in making himself pass 
for a millionaire. 

The soul wishes to go to Paradise, but its sins detain it on the 
earth, says a Slav proverb. The attempts to erect anthropo- 
psychology on strictly scientific foundations fail precisely 
because of the excessive frailty and inextricable complexity of 
the materials of construction. What would we say of an 
architect who was obliged to use thousands of elements of whose 
solidity and capacity for resistance he was ignorant ? Even if 
after laborious efforts he succeeded in building up his modest 
structure, a gust of wind might be enough to throw it over. 
Now these are heavy storms which blow on the anthropo- 
psychological edifice. As its windows remain open on all the 
phases of the life of peoples, very strong currents of air 
come from all sides. Sometimes drawing conclusions from the 
form of government to which a people submits, they say that it 
thirsts for authority and only sees its salvation in governmental 
tutelage. But we have the French who have emigrated 
to Canada accommodating themselves admirably to English 
self-government, and prospering under principles diametrically 
opposed 1 


The English, on the other hand, we are told, are distinguished 
in an important way from the French. They are as individu- 
alistic as the others are socialistic. (G. Le Bon.) 

Neo-Latin savants like Ferrero and Sergi, followed in this by 
Demoulins and many others, write on this subject volumes, 
ominous for the French, Spanish and Italian future. But the 
same English in Australia and New Zealand have become State 
socialists, who strikingly resemble the Kathedersocialisten 
of Germany. There follows, according to C. H. Pearson, 1 an 
essential modification of characteristics. English individualism 
becomes transformed and gives way to a sort of personal 
heedlessness, sheltering itself under the beneficent protection of 
the State. 

This fundamental trait, therefore, of the Anglo-Saxons only 
has its origin in the ensemble of civic and economic conditions 
which govern them. The failure of this supposed essential 
quality of the English soul involves, however, the continued 
mystery of many other characteristics in its collective and 
hereditary psychology. 

The majority of the theorists of this school depict the Spanish 
character as full of hardness and cruelty. Their judgments, 
based on the historic past of this people and among other things 
on the Inquisition and on the exploitation of its colonies, have no 
doubt their raison d'etre. But historians show us that English 
administration in the Indies has only been one uninterrupted 
act of age-long cruelty, and that their attitude towards the Irish 
was not without hardness and injustice. 

Nearly everywhere where the English have planted them- 
selves they have only been able to destroy or exploit Let us 
recall the following fact mentioned by Boutmy. 2 When the 
news of the bombardment of Alexandria was made public in 
the House of Commons, this declaration was received with a 
spontaneous and resounding ringing cheer, such as one might 
expect from schoolboys, and not from an assembly of intelligent 
men, and of Christians, to whom it had just been announced 
that a town of 200,000 souls had been wantonly bombarded and 
fired at with grape-shot I 

1 National Life and Character. 

* Psychologic politique du Peuple anglait au XIX tiieU. 


The conduct of the French among the Hovas or in Algeria 
has given rise to reproaches which offend our humanitarian 
sentiments, 1 so true is it, as had already been stated by 
Montesquieu, that all races in certain circumstances show 
themselves to be unjust and cruel. The Americans of the 
Southern States, both before and after the War of Secession, 
acted in a barbarous way towards the Negroes. Those of the 
North added crime to crime in their work of extermination of 
the Indians. Under our eyes the Prussians act with a revolting 
cruelty towards the German Poles ; the Russians do the same 
with regard to the Finlander, Jew and Armenian ; whilst the 
Turks in their anti- Armenian policy, carried on with the tacit 
consent of several civilised governments, leave far behind the 
Spanish atrocities in the Philippines or in Cuba. 

The cruelty and hardness of the Spanish cease to be exclusive. 
In observing the numerous cases where nations considered to be 
the most sociable and humane act in the same way, must we not 
conclude that a certain savage ferocity sleeps at the bottom of 
the conscience of all peoples ? The nations recognised as gentle 
and just only owe their reputation to a co-operation of favourable 
circumstances in their historical evolution. The past, which has 
spared them the necessity of inhuman actions, might have 
turned in another direction, and might have made this in- 
humanity necessary to their interests. For it is the opportunity 
which makes the thief. It is vain to pretend that the moral 
and intellectual characteristics which constitute a national type 
are as stable as the anatomical characteristics which determine 
species (G. Le Bon), an affirmation which makes us smile in the 
presence of the incessant modifications which take place under 
our very eyes. 

The Irish who have emigrated to the United States change 
their mentality and their state of soul after fifteen years. 
The Prussians at the beginning of the nineteenth century, 
as described by travellers and historians, do not resemble those 
of our day. The Negroes before the War of Secession and 
those of our day who have received a superior instruction, 
form a marked contrast in character and aspirations. With 
the dignity of man which has been inculcated, the vices 
1 See on this subject the studies of Vignd d'Octon. 


which are considered as instinctive in them have almost com- 
pletely disappeared. The Maoris of New Zealand having 
passed through English schools and having adopted the liberal 
professions, have finished by assimilating English morals and 

The soul of the Nippon of 1905 is not that of the Nippon of 
the Samurai. Whatever may be the issue of the struggle with 
Russia we may be certain that it will contribute still further to 
this essential modification. The fact is so true that already 
all the old definitions of the Japanese soul are shown to 
be false and obsolete. All the demographs so far (1905) are 
unanimous in representing them as an imitative people in- 
capable of inventing or creating anything. Accustomed to see 
them slavishly adopting our civilisation and our discoveries, we 
thought them condemned for ever to borrow the results of our 
intellectual efforts. But civilisation has only acted with regard 
to them as it does with regard to other peoples, white, red or 
black. After a period of digestion of received ideas and of facts 
ascertained, follows a period of incubation and of creation. 
The faculty of creating is the property of individuals and not of 
ethnical groups. It is thus that the Japanese at the end of 
forty years of intellectual borrowings try in their turn to enrich 
the treasure of a common civilisation. 

On this subject let us recall the scientific discoveries of the 
last years and among others those of Dr. Kitasato, who first 
cultivated the bacillus of tetanus and applied serotherapy to 
diphtheria long before Dr. Roux ; of Shiza (serum against 
dysentery), of Takamine (glands), Drs. Miura and Yamagniwa 
(the Kakke* or beri-beri), &c. 

The studies of Professor Nagaoka on the relations between 
magnetization and torsion (magneto-striction) have become 
classical, in the same way as those of Professor Sekiya and his 
successor, Omori, mark an epoch in seismology. 

If, as the Americans believe, the letters patent taken out in a 
country bear testimony to the creative faculty of its people, the 
Japanese have the right to hold their own among Europeans 
Though the law of patents only dates from 1885, the Japanese 
have already succeeded in obtaining 6121 certificates for 
genuine inventions. The progress realised in this respect is most 


astonishing. From 99 in 1885 the number of patents in a year 
went up to 205 ; in 181)1 to 605 ; in 1902 to 871 ; and in 1903 
to 1024. The Japanese author, Tomita Tanadori, from 
whom we have borrowed these data, points out the very 
regrettable indifference of his compatriots with regard to 
inventions realised. He tells us that very often they allow 
them to fall into oblivion, and allow themselves to be outdone 
by strangers who take out patents in their name. 

" The Japanese, though all insular, have not, like the English, 
appetites of conquest and expansion" (Vacher de Lapouge). 
But the Chinese war occurs, and the Japanese show us that their 
appetites yield in nothing to those of European peoples. A few 
years later they will throw themselves into a formidable war for 
the domination of Corea and Manchuria ! 

Nearer home, the Hungarians have long since lost the 
characteristic traits of Mongols, and are on all points like the 
so-called Aryans. The Swiss were once known as soldiers ; in 
their quality of mercenaries they swarmed in all States. To- 
day these typical warriors have become skilled hotel-keepers. 
The Norwegians, who are now so peaceful, were noted in 
the Middle Ages for their adventurous spirit. Nearly all 
the historians of Poland have attributed the dismemberment 
and fall of this country to Slav indolence and passivity, to the 
lack of political feeling, and to the frivolity of its manners. But 
other Slavs, like the Czecks, afflicted therefore with the same 
faults, have accomplished a series of heroic acts, and have 
furnished an example of exceptional perseverance in their 
efforts towards emancipation. On the other hand, these same 
Poles, having grown in the school of sorrow, far from disappearing 
in the midst of their three age-long enemies, develop in a 
prodigious way, and justify their faith in their certain 

The Jews, who are to-day regarded as the pacific people par 
excellence, detesting and fearing war, possessed in times gone by 
a warlike temperament. The name " Israel " means God of 
battle. The poem of Deborah, one of the most ancient monu- 
ments of Hebrew literature, is only a song of war. " Jehovah " 
is represented in certain Jewish songs as descending to the 
earth to take part in the battles. The Book of Judges is full of 


the heroic exploits of the Jews, whilst the history of David fighting 
against Goliath, or that of Samson killing six hundred of his 
enemies with a large bone, suffice to point out how great was 
the cult of courage and strength. 

There even was a time (towards the 2nd or 1st century B.C.) 
when the Jews played the part of mercenaries like the Swiss in 
later times. In this capacity they were distinguished for their 
courage and fidelity. 1 

The same Jews, according to ethnical psychologists, possess the 
power of being able to resist all climates. But this pathological 
peculiarity, which is always mentioned in descriptions of them, 
is only due to the special hygienic conditions of their life. 
Their religion, their customs, their isolation, their persecution, 
their temperate habits and so many other conditions of their 
existence help them to resist diseases which are deadly to other 
peoples owing to intemperance and improvidence. Neufville, 
Legoy, Dieterici, &c., dwell on the regularity of their lives and 
the care given to the sick, which singularly reduces the mortality 
of their children and increases their health. 

It has been shown elsewhere that the Israelites who have 
experienced the influence of the surrounding milieu morally 
and intellectually, and who have adopted the manners of their 
environment, lose at once the benefit of this exceptional virtue 
and enter into the common law. 


Not only does the psychology of masses contain cruel decep- 
tions for us, but even that easier psychology of certain concrete 
qualities of our intellectual and moral life. The clearness and at- 
traction of the literary form which it is desired at any cost to present 
as the exclusive privilege of French writers and savants, are very 
often not to be found in their writings, but are on the contrary 
found among foreign writers. Count Gobineau attributes the 
first failure of his work to their defective form. It was nccea- 
sary for him to have the powerful friendship of Wagner in order 
to rise out of oblivion and attract the attention of the German 


1 Stade : Geechichle des Vdket IsraiL 


Constant PreVost forestalled Charles Lyell on all points. It 
ia he who is the true founder of the " realist school." On the ruins 
of the "cataclysm" of Cuvier he successfully established the 
theory of slow evolution. And whereas Sir C. Lyell became 
popular owing to his clear and persuasive style, Pre"vost, because 
of the obscurity of his writings, has always been ignored, together 
with his works. 

How is Lamarck's way of writing superior to that of Darwin ? 
Literary history furnishes us with thousands of examples of 
the same kind. Heine and Boerne exhibit the most brilliant 
French qualities in their writings. The same can be said of 
many German novelists and dramatists of our day. We even 
notice that the crude style so much objected to in German 
writers and savants becomes more and more modified and approxi- 
mates to the clearer and more exact manner of the representatives 
of French and English thought Moreover, what we have been 
accustomed to consider as the organic fault of mentality is often 
only the fault of the instrument of thought, that is the language. 

Thus many strangers shine in " I' esprit parisien" when they 
set themselves to write in French. M. Barres, a writer pro- 
foundly imbued with all our national prejudices, tells us a still 
more curious thing, that one of the greatest French poets of our 
time is a Roumanian woman (Mme. de Noailles, n6e Brancovan), 
so that even the charms of poetry which are so impenetrable, 
and wherein the mysteries of the soul of the country are reflected, 
give way before instruction and education ! Strangers can also 
possess them as they can any vulgar data of theoretic or applied 
science. What is there left, therefore, of the impenetrable 
and the unassimilable in the domain of feeling and 
thought I 

The illogical nature of the pretended psychological fatality 
of races and of peoples does not fail to be visible on every 
occasion when their "composite" descriptions are applied to 
real life. For if races no longer live in a pure state, neither do 
peoples any longer correspond with any racial definition. 
Composed of individuals belonging to different races and 


showing various mixtures of blood, they ought to be fatally 
divided as to the character and the aspirations of the unities 
which compose them. Moreover, every country comprises 
provinces and districts where the quality of races and their 
proportion vary. But the addition of several numbers of vary- 
ing quantities must naturally involve different results. Once 
we admit a sort of psychological and hereditary fatality, there is 
no further need to " generalise." It is rather a matter of " sin- 
gularising " and of confining oneself to the psychology of families 
or rather to that of individuals, since each part of the popula- 
tion is marked by its " fatalistic " and inevitable aspirations. 

A Breton does not resemble a Norman, nor does the latter 
resemble a Gascon; a Gascon is to be distinguished from a 
Parisian and the latter from a Marseillais -whilst neither of 
these is like an Alsacian. In the case of Germans, it is 
difficult to place Bavarians, Prussians, Swabians, Pomeranians 
and Badenese in the same category. In studying the pro- 
vinces apart, we perceive there also differences which exceed 
conventional limits. Races are no more fixed by country, which 
is a political conception of the present, than they are by 
province, a political conception of the past. Their irregular 
immigration has followed illimitable directions. Let us take, for 
example, the department of Ain. Ethnically we find there, from 
the time of the Huns to that of the Cossacks, nearly all the 
peoples and races which have traversed France. In certain parts 
of Rousillon, Languedoc, Be*arn and Provence, we meet with 
Saracens, whom we would look for in vain elsewhere. In certain 
parts of the north-west coast of the Mediterranean, we recognise 
traces of Phocoeans, Rhodians and other Greeks. In studying 
Belle-Isle (Morbihan) we should not forget the Acadian families 
who settled there after the Canadian war, nor the Scotch of Saint 
Martin of Antigny (Cher), nor the Gypsies of the Lower Rhine 
and the Pyrenees, nor the Lyselards and the Haut-ponnais in the 
Pas de Calais. 

In following oral traditions in default of documents, we should 
discover in every French province " corners " distinguished by 
their dissimilar ethnical origins. The same phenomenon is found 
all over the earth. 

In this way provincial psychology is also discovered to be 



veiy complex and demands constant revision. The " ethnical 
faUlity," false when applied to race and country and uncertain 
even in the case of provinces and districts, carries in itself 
the germfl of death 1 


As the peoples advance in history, a new factor comes in, viz. 
social and international imitation, the effect of which grows 
every day. O. Tarde has even tried to explain the age-long 
progress of humanity by its intervention. 

Our life, in short, turns round imitation. This lies at the 
bottom of our social and individual activity. Man, from earliest 
infancy, spends his life in imitating. Animals merely follow 
this example. What is habit, which we call " second nature," if 
it is not the imitation of oneself ? 

The social man is a veritable somnambulist, hypnotised by all 
the surrounding atmosphere. Words, gestures, auditive and 
visual sensations, all kinds of sentiments, act on him and fashion 
his souL Civilisation is only a great factory which pours forth 
into the world an incalculable quantity of facts and ideas to be 
imitated. Fashion, that is to say the imitation by some of the 
gestures and thoughts of others, is seen not only in the art of 
dressing, but also in art in general, in religion, in morals, in the 
way of thinking and in that of being. Our social organisation 
is subject to its ascendency in the same way as our morality. 
Place the descendants of any people whatsoever in the midst 
of another, and they will finally live and think like those who 
surround them. Lazarus tells us that the French Refugees in 
Prussia, although numerous, are no longer to be distinguished 
from the Germans either in character or intelligence. This 
vast " suggestion " encloses us as in a cage of brass. The dead 
themselves do not cease to hypnotise us. We imitate them 
without thinking, just as we submit to the action of past 
centuries. The older is our habit of imitation, the greater is 
its force ; the more readily do we apply ourselves to it. We 
imitate more easily than our ancestors of a few centuries 
ago. Moreover, as civilisation grows, the horizon of imitation 
widens. We imitate, for example, many more countries, 


neighbours, brains and hearts. Not only does our aptitude for 
imitation grow, but also our opportunities. All our practical 
and moral progress tends towards the same end, viz. the 
rapprochement of peoples. 

Now this causes m the first place a vast contagion. Railroads 
as well as telephones and telegraphs ; science which is already 
international, and letters which tend to become so ; political 
and social institutions which unite nations across frontiers ; 
commerce and industry ; alliances between States and peoples ; 
peace and war ; the claims of social classes ; in one word, all 
the manifestations of our life have for final object the enlarging 
and facilitating of imitation. National thought and customs 
which have taken the place of local thoughts and customs, 
evolve in their turn and become international ! 

Even modern criminality tends towards a sort of unity. It 
grows in all civilised countries, for it develops under the influ- 
ence of analogous economic and social conditions. The black 
list of France becomes in this way a collective image of that of 
Holland, Germany, Italy or England. We can remember with 
what astonishment the diminution of crime was received in this 
last named country. But it was sufficient to confront the 
figures with the modifications of English penal law in order to 
perceive that this supposed amelioration was only due to a 
false interpretation of her penitentiary statistics. 

The international register of crimes pleads thus by its uni- 
formity for the supremacy of social conditions as compared with 
the voice of blood, otherwise unrecognisable and undecipherable I 

Under the influence of the same "imitation," professional 
morality and mentality are born. The commercial men of the 
civilised world, connected by analogous conceptions and 
laws, resemble one another more than merchants and artists 
living in the same country. The unflattering picture which 
Spencer draws of the English merchant may be equally applied 
to those of Germany and France. French, English, and 
German doctors and lawyers become strikingly like one 
another. As the wave of the " intellectual proletariats " rises, 
the so-called liberal professions everywhere become debased as 
objects of aspiration and respectability. There are now only 
semi-barbarous governments like the Russian and Turkish 

p 2 


Empires which would have us believe that the quality of the 
blood of certain peoples surpasses that of their social conditions 
in general and their professions in particular. The Athenian 
usurers of ancient Greece were equal to those of Rome, and 
these last were not inferior to those of modern France, Germany 
and Russia I 

Schopenhauer has already made the remark that the 
superior classes have traits of resemblance all the world over, so 
true is it that our way of thinking and of living gives an uniform 
stamp to our being. 

Max Nordau shows in his Paradoxes l how exceptional beings 
and geniuses succeed in modifying and in fashioning the state of 
soul of their peoples. They are for these last what superior 
cerebral centres are for individuals. The masses, he tells us, 
allow themselves to be impressed by their acts and their thoughts, 
and become under the influence of their suggestion either humane 
or bestial. How then can we speak of a national character 
which changes without ceasing ? The preceding generations of 
the German people were specially distinguished for their 
effeminate sentimentality and their dreamy souls ; that of to-day 
is remarkable for its practical aspirations and its thoughtful 
character. The English people were noted in the first third of 
the nineteenth century for their immorality; to-day they are 
entirely devoted to moral improvement, temperance societies and 
piety. Exceptional beings thus act as hypnotisers with reference 
to the peoples, and direct them in the way of their own 
inspirations or suggestions. It is enough to recall the influence 
exercised by Bismarck on German mentality and morality or 
on the tendencies of modern Prussian politics and political 
parties. In another sphere poets and novelists impress vividly 
the soul of their readers and especially that of their fair readers. 
The same Nordau makes this piquant remark, that the modern 
Parisienne is the work of the journalists and novelists of Paris. 
They do exactly what they will with her both physically and 

1 Paradoxe*. This work appeared in 1885 at Berlin, and consequently 
preceded all that has been written since on the psychology of peoples and of 
crowd*. In a short chapter, entitled Suggestion, the philosopher of the Con- 
ventional L\t of C'tVtfwarton rails at the pretensions of the psychologists of 
rthnical collectivities which had already become very popular with the public 
and the powerful of the day. We have given above a succinct summary of it. 


intellectually. She speaks, she thinks, she feels, she acts, she 
even dresses herself and affects attitudes as suggested to her by 
her favourite writers. 

Our religious ideas also leave their ineffaceable impress on our 
gestures, our looks and even our deportment. An Englishman 
who has come into much contact with the adherents of different 
sects easily distinguishes them by their outward bearing. The 
cult of a single idea and the infatuation for one single form of 
art often suffice to differentiate people. The representatives of 
" Byronism," the " Parnassians " and the " Decadents," are easily 

European languages also, however divided they may be, 
exercise a levelling influence. Between the tongues of Europe 
there is, owing to our civilisation, a continual exchanging even 
when it is not represented by visible loans, so that progress 
obtained in one particular becomes immediately the common 
property of all (Bre'al). 1 

Congresses, which unconsciously emanate from our need of 
imitation and which swarm in every sphere of our scientific 
and social activity, in the same way as " Exhibitions " of the 
efforts and progress of peoples, accelerate the work of rapproche- 
ment, that is to say, the work of the " unification " of human 

What becomes of the psychological fatality of races under 
these conditions ? Its foundations crumble, for everything seems 
to conspire against their solidity. Problematic and unsubstantial 
as they are, the force of progress never ceases to inflict on them 
systematic and repeated blows. The least scientific discovery 
often effects more changes than centuries of atavism. The 
inventions of gun-powder, movable type and railways have 
destroyed more ethnical differences between races than common 
origins or centuries of cohabitation could or would have 
done. This single consideration is enough to make barren 
all prophecies on the ethnical to-morrow of peoples. Who 
could predict to-day the psychology of a people or peoples 
who had benefited by the discovery of a metal lighter than 


1 Eatai de Sbnantique. 



The character of a people is thus only an eternal becoming. 
The qualities of our soul and its aspirations are fleeting like clouds 
driven by the wind. They are born and are modified under the 
influence of innumerable causes. To speak of the stability 
or of the psychological fatality of peoples is like one who would 
make believe that circles caused on the surface of water by a 
falling stone retain their shape for ever. It is impossible for us to 
write anything durable on the ever changing page of races. 
Their real composition is beyond our ^knowledge, whilst their 
evolution in history, which is an incessant intermingling of eth- 
nical unities, laughs at all the formulas wherewith we pretend to 
arrange them. 

Neither does geographical milieu alone suffice to explain the 
soul of a people, for man, according to Comte's happy expres- 
sion, socialises nature. The blood of our ancestors, becoming 
more and more complex with the march of generations, is 
neutralised by the manifold conditions of our existence. Social 
factors in addition contend with the influence of geographical 
and ethnical principles, and among their incalculable number 
imitation asserts itself with its immediate effect, viz. the 
levelling of international differences. All this revolutionises the 
moral and material life of peoples and races from top to bottom. 

The recent progress of science actually hinders a racial 
psychology of the past. Everything which touches on the 
origins of races, and their formation or evolution, is a subject 
of controversy. How then can we create a true psychology of a 
race which should be a complete synthesis of its life and thought ? 
In the case of an existing ethnical group, the task is in itself 
paradoxical The life of a people is attended with such a 
movement of phenomena that it becomes almost impossible to 
express them in a fixed formula. Suppose we admit that the 
number of data necessary to take into consideration, in order to 
formulate a judgment on a people or a race, does not go beyond 
100, and let us then see how many chances of error we find on our 
path. We know from the example which has become classical 
that fifteen people round a table can be arranged in about 


1,350,000,000,000 different ways! Now let us compare and 
conclude, or rather let us abandon these disastrous experiments, 
which can only give chimerical results. 

Racial and national unities do not lend themselves to this 
game of skill. What we can do at most is to confine ourselves 
to a " static " psychology, that is, to that of a given moment, 
which may be defended on the ground of curiosity, provided it 
be allowed that errors are inevitable. 

Anthropo-psychology ought then to take leave of all 
dogmatism. It ought also to abstain from delivering its merciless 
decrees, and crushing us with its collective condemnations and 
apologies. What is more essential is that all its generalisa- 
tions, whenever by chance they are at one with truth, can 
only have an ephemeral value in the case of living collec- 

The nation of to-day is not that of yesterday or of to-morrow. 
In the eternal vortex of life everything evolves. The qualities 
of our soul are no exception. Our psychological " ego " is only 
a vast cemetery wherein are found buried all the metamorphosed 
consciences of our existence. The soul of a child is not like 
that of an adult, which in its turn is not like that of an old man. 
In the life of a people, these changes are still more accentuated 
and profound. 

In the eternal flow of things and ideas, the souls of peoples 
change radically. A superior race or people becomes inferior, 
and vice versd. A people praised for its morality becomes 
immoral ; another deemed pacific becomes warlike ; whilst 
a third, noble and generous, stumbles at its task and 
becomes barbarous and cruel. The psychological stability and 
fatality of peoples are not matters of this world. 

All peoples evolve under the influence of external factors ; 
consequently there are none predestined beforehand to be the 
masters or the slaves of others, as there are none who are 
predestined to an eternal immobility ! Virtue and vice in 
peoples are only the products of circumstances. Civilisation, 
which tends to increase and equalise the number of those which 
act in a uniform way towards all peoples, produces as a direct 
result the increase of their similarities and the levelling of their 






WHEN we follow closely the errors committed by so many 
eminent theorists with regard to prominent nations taken 
individually, we can easily understand the entanglement in 
which they find themselves on the matter of the racial origins 
of humanity. For how can we solve the complex enigma of the 
evolution of the whole human species if the scientific data which 
we actually possess do not suffice to make us understand the 
mystery of the ethnological formation of the most studied 
groups ? Our inability to explain a phenomenon is seen from the 
moment when we have only a number of mutually exclusive 
truths to make it clear. It is permitted us in this case not 
only to arraign the premises of the judgment, but also the value 
and method of the reasoning employed. 

In judging the question according to the old juridical princi- 
ple, viz. " Who can the most, can the least," anthropology finds 
itself in a sorry plight, since, although aided by history, linguistics, 
geology, palethnology, ethnography, and so many other sciences, 
it cannot succeed in explaining to us the origin and composition 
of the leading nations ! How then can it claim the right of im- 
posing on us its solution with reference to all the subdivisions 
of the human species ? 

We think it will be enough to examine the position of this 
science towards a few leading problems touching the best known 
peoples and races, in order to discredit its verdicts once and for 
all on so many complex questions which it presumes to include 
within its domain. 


Whether it be Gobineau, Vacher de Lapouge, Tylor, Huxley 
or Pichat who are dealing with the French, English or Germans, 
they invariably deduce the origin of these nations directly from 
the Aryans. It has almost become an axiom. Following this 
doctrine, which is so deeply ingrained in the European mind, 
sociology , history, modern politics and literature never cease to 
oppose the Aryans to other peoples, such as the Semitic or Mongol. 
Our Aryan origin has become a sort of beneficial spring whence 
flow the high mentality of Europe and the virtues of its leading 
nations as opposed to other peoples, races and civilisations. 
When it is desired to compare in the usual sociological jargon 
two mentalities, or two sets of morals, the popular saying is 
" Aryan " and " non-Aryan. " It is then supposed that all has 
been said. For the opposing of these two terms is held to imply 
a whole world of what is unexpressed. In the name of this 
belief the faggots have been lighted for thousands of the unfortun- 
ate who are guilty of having entered the world outside the Aryan 
fold and therefore against the Aryans. We see in the twen- 
tieth century the most civilised countries victims of the same 
superstition. The ravages which it makes in our thoughts can 
only be compared with a scourge which we have voluntarily 
summoned to afflict us. In order to maintain its vigour, new 
victims are daily immolated. In the theatre, in a book or a 
discourse, the reasoning or rather the lack of reasoning 
among people contaminated by the Aryan malady is always the 
same. They are perpetually babbling of the vices or virtues 
of a whole portion of humanity, though ignorant of the first 
foundations of its existence. The Aryan is imposed on their 
minds as a sort of invisible Being in whom one believes 
just as we do in the reality of spirits which no one has ever 

But when we come nearer to this dogma, the central position of 
which has been so long indisputable and undisputed, we perceive 
that we have only to do with a phantom. It disappears at the 
approach of impartial criticism. At tlie same time all the 
phraseology, the consequences of which are so disastrous to peace 


and the rational evolution of the human species, dissolves in 
ruins. It is only recently, however, that we have learnt that 
" these so-called Aryans never existed as a primitive people but 
only as an invention of armchair savants " (K. Hartmann), and 
that " the Aryan in a condition of local unity has never been 
discovered " (Virchow). 

A century no doubt will pass away before the opinions en- 
gendered under the influence of unreflecting savants shall have 
disappeared in their turn. During this time abused humanity 
will not become weary of regarding this " discovery of the study " 
as an entity having a real existence. 

Nevertheless, when we examine the contradictions of which 
the partisans of the Aryan doctrine are dupes, we are surprised 
at the ease with which writers who are generally very prudent 
have adopted an unjustifiable theory. 

For no one has ever been able to show a single authentic 
Aryan. The descriptions of him, both moral and physical, his 
measurements, and also the description of his inner life, are 
all purely fantastical. Theories have succeeded one another ac- 
cording to the temperament of the writers and the fertility of 
their imagination. Journalists, politicians, literary men, artists, 
and in short the great public have with or without reason be- 
come enthusiastic about the inventions of some and against the 
discoveries of others. These products of a quasi-scientific imagina- 
tion are received blindly without the least criticism and have 
moreover passed into manuals of history and instruction. To-day 
out of a thousand educated Europeans, 999 are persuaded of the 
authenticity of their Aryan origin. In the history of human 
errors this doctrine will some day without doubt assume a place 
of honour, and will serve as a decisive argument for the credulity 
with which both professional savants and the multitude allow 
themselves to be duped. 

But the flagrant contradictions into which the representatives 
of the Aryan school have for a long time fallen should have 
aroused the attention of savants and men of letters. To give a 
simple idea of it, let us examine the most accredited principles 
of their doctrine. 



We are first made to believe that a people of tliis name, viz. 
Aryan, came from Asia. They had been settled there from a 
remote period, especially in India and Persia. Afterwards 
they planted their stock in different parts of Europe. We 
know, according to the studies of very many distinguished 
palethnologists, that man appeared and evolved in ancient Gaul 
from the Quaternary epoch. Its first inhabitants could not have 
come from Asia into Europe, for the discoveries made in the 
caves of south-west France, as also on the banks of the Seine 
and Somme, prove that man lived there for numbers of centuries 
before the date assigned to the Asiatic immigration by the 
fervent believers in Aryan descent. 

From this we gather that all the theories which would make 
of Europe a sort of colony founded by Asia considered as the 
real old world, appear to be ill founded. According to G. de 
Mortillet, man appeared in France more than 200,000 years 
ago. He lived there in company with two large elephants, the 
Elephas aniiquus and the Elcphas meridionalis. We only know 
that he possessed a single instrument, viz. a hard piece of stone 
roughly sharpened which now served as a weapon and now as a 
tool This " punching " instrument was used directly with the 
hand, and man slowly and successively bettered it, cutting 
it with more care and with more art, and especially making it 
lighter. As the temperature diminished, man was driven to have 
recourse to clothing. A modification of the stone tool followed 
in consequence. Man begins to make clothes for himself out 
of skins. A long period of slow evolution, without intervention 
or foreign influences, characterises the palaeolithic age, so the 
same author teaches us. De Mortillet even sees this persistence 
of local progress continuing without any intervention during 
the earlier and middle palaeolithic epoch as well as during the 
Solutrian epoch. Without subscribing to all these details, which 
are given with so much assurance by this historian of the dark 
ages, let us state that he has for the reconstruction of the past 
as many decisive proofs as those who would show us ancient 
Europe as a desert peopled by Aryans. For everything is 


problematic and controversial in the case of these supposed 
ancestors of Europe. Thus, according to F. de Schlegel, they 
came from India to establish themselves in Europe. According 
to Link, they came from Asia and Georgia. According to 
Adolphe Pictet, the Aryans of Europe are from Bactria, and so 
on. But here we have a celebrated Belgian geologist, J. J. 
d'Omalius d'Halloy, giving the last stroke to this theory and 
demonstrating with the aid of ingenious arguments that the 
Asiatic Aryans were nothing more or less than simple Euro- 
peans. Europe, far from being conquered by the Aryans of Persia 
or India, sent there her fortunate conquerors. All durable 
conquests always proceed from West to East. Diving into the 
anthropological archives, d'Halloy brings another argument to 
bear on his theory, in demonstrating that the fair-haired as a 
rule prevailed in all times in Europe and only lived as excep- 
tional types in Asia. From Europe, therefore, the fair-haired 
transplanted themselves into Asia ! A number of savants, 
linguistic, geological, and anthropological, fought in favour of 
d'Halloy's opinion simultaneously with him and afterwards. 
Far from looking for the Aryan fatherland in Asia, they find 
it and with what luxury of proofs ! in all parts of Europe. 

Archaeological discoveries which have been multiplied during 
fifty years have established the fact that Asiatic civilisa- 
tion only influenced Europe from the thirteenth century 
before Christ. The finds, especially those made by Schliemann 
at Troy, and those of Mycenae, Tiryns, Cyprus and Egypt, 
leave no doubt on this subject. At the time when the West 
came into contact with the East, its civilisation was already 
ancient by long centuries. It is thus that the dolmens of 
Northern Germany are of more ancient origin than those 
discovered in India. The bronze industry had prospered 
throughout the whole Mediterranean basin, and the swords ex- 
humed in divers parts of France with handles of wood, gold and 
horn, are of the same type as those found at Mycenae. Bronze, far 
from being invented in India, came only from Alexandria. The 
first cradle of civilisation, the knowledge of which we owe to the 
sciences of the past, appears everywhere as European, and it 
is only the second cradle which is of Oriental origin. 

Clemence Royer tells us that the famous Aryan tongue was 


originally formed and spoken in Europe, whence it penetrated 
into Persia and India through the Caucasus. This language 
was the special creation of the fair-haired peoples of Europe, 
and if the brown folk of Asia also spoke it, they must have 
learnt it from fair-haired European immigraiits. Among cele- 
brated linguists, Benfey declares in favour of the country situated 
between the mouth of the Danube and the Caspian Sea as 
the cradle of the Aryan language, civilisation and race. This 
savant tells us that since geology proves that Europe has been 
inhabited from time immemorial, all the explanations in 
favour of Asiatic immigration into Europe fall to the 

Moreover, recent researches give the last word to sceptics. 
Thus we perceive that Indian writing descends in direct line 
from the Greek and Aramaic alphabets, and that the Greek 
tongue is not the daughter of Sanskrit as it has been for 
a long time believed. The Avesta, which ought to constitute 
one of the most ancient literary monuments of the past, dates, 
according to James Darmesteter, only from the third century 
after Christ, whilst the famous Vedas are not primitive songs 
going back to the dawn of humanity, but learned works of a 
thousand years before Christ, redacted and versified twelve 
centuries later. 1 

Louis Geiger and Lceher even tried to prove that the Aryan 
fatherland was the centre and the west of Germany ; according 
to Tomaschek, it was Eastern Europe ; according to Th. Koeppen 
it was the west of Europe ; and according to Penka the south of 
Sweden. Let us remark, however, that all Greek legends agree in 
making the lonians, Achaians and Hellenes to have come from 
the north. As for the Thracians, who preceded them there, 
they likewise are said to have had a northern origin. 


Among the anthropologists and naturalists we perceive the 
same dissensions. If Virchow holds for the East, Topinard de- 
clares in favour of Europe, and Huxley for the country between the 
1 Bergaigne, La Religion vtdiqut. 


Ural and the North Sea. Pietrement, on the other hand, decides 
for the south-west of Siberia, Clemence Royerfor Pelasgian Thrace 
on the borders of the Danube. V. Hehn defends the Asiatic 
theory entirely, and still another botanist and celebrated geo- 
grapher, Jules de Klaproth, who wrote long before Hehn, con- 
cludes in favour of the North. 

Some speak of Bactria, a legendary country of Paradise which 
has never existed, whilst others insist on the plateau of Pamir, 
a real country, as the land of the primitive dispersion of the 

But when we begin to study this fabulous country closer, we 
soon discover that it was scarcely habitable ! 

Among the philologists the contradictions are no less con- 
siderable. If according to Fr. Miiller the south-west of Europe 
is the starting-point of many Aryan ramifications, according to 
Schlegel, Pott, Jacob Grimm, Lassen, Pictet, &c., it could only 
be Central Asia. Otto Schrader 1 declares in favour of the 
south-east of European Russia, near the middle course of the 
Volga. Taking his stand on a number of analogous words, he 
concludes that the cradle of the Aryans before their dispersion 
was a land of steppes. He notes among other peculiarities that 
the Aryans knew but few plants of the forest. It results from 
this that there could have been no forests where they lived. 
According to H. Hirt, their habitat could only have been near 
the Baltic. According to Cuno, the Aryan land extended from 
the Black Sea to the plains of Northern France, and from the 
Ural mountains to the Atlantic. M. Bre"al, 2 on the contrary, says 
that the books of the Avesta, which have contributed so much 
to the formation of all sorts of theories, furnish us in reality with 
no serious basis either for the geography or the history of our 
Aryan ancestors. It is the first chapter (fargard} of the Vendi- 
dad (the first book of the Avesta) which has perhaps been the 
principal cause of the evil. In the enumeration of the countries 
which Ormuzd (addressing Zoroaster) pretends to have created, 
figures first the Aryana- Vaeja (vaeja, source, land of sources). 
As a result of the works of Rhode, Haug, Lassen, &c., one has 
wished to see in the Aryana the cradle of the Aryans. 

1 Sprachvergleichung und Urgeschichte. 
Mtianges de linguistique et de Mythologie. 



Consequently we cannot affirm positively that the Aryans 
ever existed. 

Even admitting that they did exist, did they really come into 
Europe? Now, although lacking scientific proof as regards 
their real existence, savants have not hesitated to furnish us 
with pictures of their social organisation and their inner life. 
They have even been so kind as to provide us with all sorts of 
details concerning their physical appearance, favourite occupa- 
tions and moral tendencies ! ! 

According to Huxley and Poesche they were big, fair and 
dolichocephalic. According to Isaac Taylor, the European Aryans, 
whom he identifies with the Celts, were big and short-headed. 
According to Pictet, the Aryans were a young and strong people 
devoted to agriculture and cattle-rearing. Their family life 
was very much developed and was distinguished by many 
Biblical virtues. According to Schrader, they were barbarous 
and ignorant and were acquainted only with copper among the 
metals. According to Quatrefages, the Aryans were of two 
types, viz. long and short heads. Whereas for some (Tylor, 
Taylor and Koeppen) they were of the same origin as the Finns, 
for others (Kremer, Hommel, &c.) they started from a point in 
Mesopotamia between the Oxus and the Jaxartes where they 
lived with the Semites. 

They were big, dolichocephalic and fair, so preach Gobineau 
and his disciples. They were brown and small, so Sergi says. 
And when Ujfalvy went to see the celebrated Galtchas in the 
highland valley of Zerafchan (1876-1878), who are deemed the 
purest descendants of the genuine Aryans, he found among them 
fair, brown, brachycephalic, dolichocephalic, big and small ! ! 
Whom then can we trust ? 


According to certain savants, the Aryans rose on a Semitic 
basis, and according to others, like Tomaschek, their 
civilisation was borrowed from Finns and Tartars. 

When it is a matter of recounting the details of their 


migrations and the conditions in which they gave birth to the 
European nations, we fall again into a chaos of contradictory 
hypotheses. There were in Western Europe, Huxley tells us, 
in neolithic times four human types : the small with long heads 
(Iberians), the big with short heads (Celts), the big with long 
heads (Scandinavians), and the small with short heads 
(Ligurians). The Celts were pure Aryans and the other three 
were Aryanised. 

According to Schleicher, a branch of the Asiatic Aryans 
entered Southern Europe and afterwards divided into three 
groups, the Greeks, Albanians and Italo- Celts. The Italians 
settled in Italy and the Celts in Gaul. We saw above that 
they are sometimes identified with the Semites and sometimes 
with the Finns, &c. 

These strange contradictions resting on fantastical data, this 
general post of theories and hypotheses, which mutually annul 
one another, has little by little destroyed the belief in Aryans 
as the real ancestors of the Celts, and the many other branches 
of European peoples. We understand at last that the Aryan 
dogma was only based on a misunderstanding, viz. the existence 
of certain analogies between languages called Aryan and 
certain Asiatic and European languages. 

We know that all languages may be summed up into these 
three groups, monosyllabic, agglutinative, and inflected idioms. 
Monosyllabism is without doubt the first evolutionary phase of 
every tongue, where we have independent and isolated roots, a 
certain number of which is required to form a phrase. At present 
it is represented by Chinese, Annamite, Siamese, Thibetan and 

In the agglutinative or agglomerate tongues, there are united 
to the principal root, which preserves its value, other syllables 
placed before (prefix), or after the said root (suffix), which thus 
modify its meaning. These composites thus created express all 
sorts of combinations of ideas and of relations. Among the 
agglutinative tongues we must count Finnish, Turkish, Basque, 
Japanese, Korean, and the Dravidian of India ; those spoken 
in the greater part of Africa from the Sahara to the Cape ; 
those of the various Oceanic islands; and also those of the 

Q 2 


The third phase in the evolution of languages gives them the 
peculiarity of varying their roots. In languages with flexion 
the roots are no longer immobile and rigid, but "flexible," 
changing according to the circumstances. Three great 
families of languages enter into this group. First the Hamitic 
tongues, spoken in Northern Africa (Egyptian, Libyan and 
Ethiopian); then the Semitic languages (Arabic, Phosnician, 
Hebrew and Syriac) ; and lastly the branch of languages called 

Now, after the science of philology had shown the striking 
analogy between the languages spoken in Europe and those of 
India, it was concluded that their origin was identical. 
According to A. Pictet, 1 who exercised a very lasting influence 
on the Aryan doctrine, the migration of peoples and also their 
descent are very simple matters. We must consider, as the 
starting-point, the place where the language from which the 
others are derived was spoken. This place was no other than 
Aryana, the vast plateau of Iran, the immense quadrilateral 
district which extends from the Indus to the Tigris and the 
Euphrates, and from the Oxus and the Jaxartes to the Persian 
Gul Here the initial language, Sanskrit, the mother tongue, 
was spoken. From this place the Aryans departed, and according 
to the purity of the language of each people, the date of its 
arrival was deduced. The vast Sanskrit or Indo-European family 
includes, according to Pictet, the Hindoo or Sanskrit, the Iranian, 
the Hellenic, the Italic, the Celtic, the Germanic, the Slavonic 
and the Lettic. Naturally behind these spoken languages, 
Pictet and his school did not forget those who spoke them. It 
is thus that, being in need of an hypothesis which would explain 
the relationship of a number of languages, they invented the 
romance of the migration of a mysterious people, namely, the 
Aryans, who carried their tongue all over the world, and who 
gave birth to different European peoples. But according to 
modern linguistics (see among others the works of Schrader) 
it is deemed necessary to repudiate this fantasy created and 
accepted with a light heart, and to condemn strongly the 
conception of the Aryan race. It is, in short, only a matter of 
a family of Aryan tongues, which does not suppose an Aryan 
1 Ltt Originei indo-europ4ennet ou les Aryens primiti/s. 


people. Has not the experience of modern and ancient peoples 
taught us that it is not permissible to identify races and 
languages ? The Latin tongue took possession of Gaul, but 
that does not say that the Gauls became Romans. We see 
entire peoples adopting languages introduced or imposed from 
outside, without there being any manifest change in their 
ethnical origin. 

We cannot even indicate exactly the filiation of Aryan 
tongues ! 

Here, for example, is the Etruscan language, which has played 
so important a part in the distant past. Is it of Aryan origin ? 
According to Corssen, the Etruscan was only an Italic dialect, 
whereas according to Yanelli, Tarquini and Stickel, it belongs 
to the Semitic group. According to S. Bugge, it shows a 
distinct relationship to Armenian, whilst for Sayce and Victor 
Henry the two are quite different. Fligier tells us that, 
ethnically and philologically, the Etruscans have literally nothing 
in common with the Aryan peoples. According to Tylor, the 
Etruscans are of Altaic origin; according to Brinton their 
tongue is only a Libyan idiom. 

It would be fastidious to desire to remove the mountains of 
contradictions which divide the philologists in their explana- 
tions of the origins of other Aryan tongues. Let us rather 
insist on this remark of Max Muller. " The ethnologist who 
speaks of the Aryan race, the Aryan blood, the Aryan eyes or 
hair, is guilty of a heresy equal to that of which a linguist 
would be guilty if he spoke of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a 
brachycephalic grammar." 

Aryan therefore only expresses a link of relationship 
between certain tongues. When Fr. Schlegel for the first time 
(1808) recognised the numerous resemblances between the 
languages spoken between India and Germany, he proposed 
to call them Indo- Germanic, a name adopted by Pott, 
Benfey, &c. 

Bopp thought it more practical to call them Indo-European. 
It was decided later to substitute the word Aryan as shorter 
and more expressive in order to designate this vast family 
of languages. 

In lightly transporting this term into the domain of races. 


we hare been successively offered Indo-Germanic, Indo- 
Swnpean, and Aryan, expressions which are equal to one 
another, that is to say, w hich axe equal to nothing. 

It is, therefore, only a matter of a language and not of skulls, 
bones and hair. But more ! For the cult of the Aryan tongue 
has undergone rude assaults. To-day it is only for us an innate 
fetishism. Easily disposed to believe in the supernatural, we 
readily adopted the miraculous origin of language. According 
to many philologists, it could only have been an inspiration 
from on high. This belief had numerous adepts, especially in 
Germany. Some even supposed an unique tongue taught by 
divinity itself of which the modern idioms were degenerate 
descendants. Others assured us that a special intuition was 
granted to certain privileged peoples like the Hebrews, Greeks 
and Hindoos. 1 Perfection was universal at the beginning of 
tilings as the fruit of revelation, instinct or spontaneity. As 
Grimm and Humboldt preached this doctrine with regard to the 
evolution of language, Creuzer applied it to the history of 
religions, Savigny to law in general, and Stahl more especially 
to political law. The ideal Aryan tongue altogether benefited 
by this supreme disdain of reason, to the advantage of a mystic- 
ism which made ravages throughout all the sciences. 

The languages, however, which the Europeans spoke who 
were settled in Gaul in the Quaternary epoch may have evolved 
under the influence of circumstances, and may have approached 
the Sanskrit Do we not see in the same way the Basque 
language, which is agglutinative, existing outside the whole 
influence of the other Indo-European tongues ? 

The generic term " Aryan " seems all the more extravagant 
in that it is considered to include at least three clearly distinct 
types, viz. (1) the ancient Pelasgi and the ancient Iberi, who were 
small and brown with long heads; (2) the big and fair with 
blue eyes, long skull, rosy complexion, viz. the Germani, Kymri 

1 M. Br6al. Euai de Stonantique. 


and Gauls ; (3) Celts and Slavs, with brown hair going from 
brown with light coloured eyes to fair with greyish complexion, 
long bust, and round head. 

At the time of their appearance these three types are already 
very distinct from one another. How then could they have 
come from the same country and have the same ethnical origins ? 
If, moreover, we are obliged to admit that they had under- 
gone such radical modifications in so short a time, is not that 
a condemnation of the most venerable principles of classical 
anthropology ? 

In the face of all these irreconcilable contradictions, can we 
still decently speak of an " Aryan race " or of " Aryan descent," 
and oppose certain un-Aryan or non- Aryan elements which con- 
stitute a portion of the European population, to really " Aryan " 
elements which have never existed ? 

This discovery, humiliating to the good sense both of those who 
propagate it and of those captivated by it, once buried out of sight, 
let us try to bury another misconception which has made nearly 
as many dupes as the Aryan myth. 



WE never cease to identify the two terms, French and Gaul- 
ish, German (allemand) and Germanic. Whereas the French are 
proud of thinking of the blood of Celtic Gauls which flows in 
their veins, the Germans on the other side of the Rhine think 
that they are obliged to hate in the French this very Celtic 
blood as being that of their age-long adversaries. Thus there 
is ingrained from time immemorial in the mind of the two 
peoples a conviction as to the difference in their origin, 
mentality and historic destiny. Do not ask from one or the 
other any justification for their animosity. One would think 
that they believed it to be almost instinctive quite apart from 
the misunderstandings and the quarrels of the moment. Have 
they not read in more or less serious books, and this for 
centuries, that from all time Gauls and Germans dwelt in 
separate cumps and that each race had virtues and customs 
diametrically opposed to those of the other ? They have ended 
in believing in facts, the genuineness of which has never 
to their knowledge been suspected. This belief going from 
father to son has become almost a legacy. All the incidents 
of life are commented on according to this precious dogma, 
and to-day it appears a sacrilege to express the least doubt 
that the French are the direct heirs of the Gauls or that 
the Germans are the descendants of the old Germanic 
folk. Now, in examining this theory in what concerns 
France and the French, we will demonstrate its inanity. Once 
we break up the Gaulish building, the Germanic structure will 
tumble down of its own accord. 


In the present state of science there is no way of disputing 
the fact that France was inhabited in palaeolithic and neolithic 
times. Man precedes the glacial period, the duration of which 
period alone extends approximately from 150,000 to 200,000 
years. And we know that France has been the field of all sorts 
of discoveries of human bones dating from palaeolithic times. 
Thus twelve years before the discovery of the cranial brain-pan 
of Neanderthal in 1841, there were discovered in the Haute- 
Loire (near Puy), in a bed of muddy lava of the ancient volcano 
of Denise, human fossils composed of many bones, teeth, cranial 
brain-pans, &c., all showing clearly defined Ne*anderthalian 
characteristics. The famous lower jawbone exhumed by 
Bourret and Re"gnault in 1889 in Ariege (near Montseron) has 
been attributed to the old palaeolithic epoch. Many other 
discoveries in France, especially in the domain of palethnology, 
similar to those made in Belgium, confirm this opinion that 
France must have been inhabited from the most ancient times. 
Let us not, like certain palethnologists, try to find the anthropo- 
logical qualities of these first inhabitants. Imagination, which 
never loses its rights in the science of the past, has made 
anthropological savants say, now that they were folk of the 
Neanderthal 1 race, now that they belonged only to the 
Laugerie race, who were settled in France much later, but in any 
case from the neolithic epoch. 

The first were short, thick set, thick boned, and below the 
average height. Among those of the Laugerie race, the 
superciliary arches, so developed in the cranial brain-pan of 
Neanderthal, were much feebler. The high part of the skull forms 
a kind of vault, the chin is not so receding, and the thick and 
rounded shinbones of the men of Neanderthal are much flatter. 
Both according to this fine science are dolichocephalic. Were 

1 There was found, in 1856, in the Diissel valley between Diisseldorf and 
Elberfeld, near the ravine of Neanderthal, a human skeleton embedded in 
clay. A hundred feet from this place was found a grotto of the debris of rhino- 
ceros, hyaena, and wolf. People have wished to see in this cranial brain-pan 
the remains of the first man living in this neighbourhood. The skull of 
Neanderthal had its superciliary arches very much developed, a low retreating 
forehead, the back part of the head very much widened, &c. 


the Laugerie race the product of the simple evolution of that of 
Neanderthal, or were they invaders? Here is a mystery. 
Nothing can elucidate it unless it be the Supreme Force 
which has presided over all these evolutions ! But as this 
Supreme Force thinks it wiser not to interfere with this kind of 
discussion, we find courageous savants stepping in. They proceed 
to discuss seriously concerning these facts of the past, guarding 
themselves the while against communicating to us the im- 
penetrable reason for the formation of their convictions. Let 
us admit then, as our fancy bids us, all the phases of the 
evolution of the N^anderthalians and Laugerians, transformed 
in their turn into the people of Cro-Magnon, 1 popularised by Paul 
Broca, or the race of Baumes-Chaudes, favoured by Georges 

Whatever may be our conviction on this subject, it cannot 
hinder us from admitting that long before the appearance of Gauls 
on French soil there were other peoples and races who had 
been settled there for a long time. This is the essential point. 

Prehistoric anthropology (otherwise called palethnology) even 
tells us that there was a period when all the population of 
France was exclusively dolichocephalic. Since we find in the 
neolithic epoch numerous brachycephalic folk, these could only 
have come from the outside. G. de Mortillet goes so far as to 
tell us with singular clairvoyance that " in prehistoric times, at 
the end of the palaeolithic and at the beginning of the neolithic 
epochs, the greatest social revolution which ever happened, took 
place in France." Let us not sadden with our scepticism the 
believing souls of palethnologists. Let us wisely confine 
ourselves to saving out of all these complications of the past 

1 Paul Broca studied in 1868 in the shelters of Cro-Magnon in a little grotto 
in Dordogne, quite near the station of Eyzies (whence the name d'Eyziens), 
three human skeletons, one woman, one old man, and one adult. According 
to the description of Broca, these bones show dolichocephalic skulls and tall 
tature. The woman's thigh bone was very wide and of fabulous thickness, 
and both had wide and bulging foreheads. Thus Broca invented a special race 
of Cro-Magnon. A few years afterwards, in the sepulchral grottos of theLozere, 
known aa Baumes-Chaudes, the bones of about 300 dolichocephalic subjects 
were found, and near them several flint arrowheads and a few bronze objects. 
According to the anthropologists, the men of Baumes-Chaudes are very much 
like those of Cro-Magnon. Their height is 1 metre 61, their cephalic index 
varies between 64 '3 and 75'1 ; the horizontal circumference of the skull, 543 
and 533 millimetres for men and women respectively, the mean nasal index, 
42-7, to., &c. 


the one certain fact that France was inhabited at the end of the 
palaeolithic epoch. We are even willing to shift this epoch for 
people who are more incredulous, to the commencement of the 
neolithic period. 


The most serious historians who try to grasp the physiognomy 
of France in the later periods represent it to us as originally 
peopled with Ligurians. Who were these Ligurians ? Did they 
come from the outside or were they but the descendants of the 
primitive people who occupied the country in palaeolithic and 
neolithic times ? Opinions are very much divided, and it would 
be more than risky to try to harmonise them. The poverty of 
documents authorises all suppositions and does not suffer us to 
adopt any one entirely ! For it must be acknowledged that the 
data of French history before the eighth or ninth century B.C. 
are as little precise as those of prehistoric times. We are told 
of a certain movement of peoples which towards the tenth or 
eleventh centuries B.C. entered the Mediterranean lands, but 
opinions vary as to their origin, importance, route or ethnical 
peculiarities. Everything is reduced to the fact that a displace- 
ment took place. 

When we examine more closely this Ligurian question, we 
come to the conclusion that a people of that name must have 
existed. In the time of Hesiod that name was given to the in- 
habitants of the countries situated towards the north-west of 
Greece. They must also have been very numerous, for traces of 
them are found not only in Gaul but also in Italy, Corsica, the 
Netherlands and Spain. If the suppositions of the philologists 
were well founded, we would have another element in favour 
of the ethnical unity of the greater part of the European 
peoples. What pleads for this doctrine is notably this theory so 
ardently maintained by many authoritative philologists, viz. 
that the language of the Ligurians had the peculiarity of 
forming the names of mountains, rivers and inhabited places 
in general by the use of the suffixes asco, asca, usko, 
usJca, osko, oska. In using this point, many of our savants, 
after having found in France many places with names formed 
in this way, conclude that the Ligurians made a prolonged 


tay in these parts. But the presence of these same Ligurians 
in Italy has been proved, viz. on the shores of the Gulf of Genoa, 
where there still exists a mountain called Pescasco and rivers called 
Carisasca, Sermichiasca, &c. They also held Liguria, Piedmont, 
Emilia, Lombardy in the southern part of the Po basin, where 
are found about seventy names of places with the characteristic 
suffix of the Ligurians. They were also very numerous in 
Bavaria and in Portugal. 

Without being able to solve the Ligurian mystery as we have 
been able to do in the case of so many other clouds which hang 
over the anthropological past of France, we must nevertheless 
admit the real existence of this people who entered Gaul long 
before the Celts, the Germanic peoples or the Normans. In our 
inability to provide an approximate number of these folk or their 
physiological description, let us confine ourselves to admitting 
the substantial portion of Ligurian blood in the composition of 
the French people. 

The principal Ligurian tribes according to Polybius, Strabo, 
Pliny, Ptolemy, &c. f were at first the Deciates (Antibes), the 
Ligaunes and the Olybes. Let us add the Sallyes (Salxuvii with 
their captial Aquae Sextiae, now Aix), the Vulgentes, Quariates, 
the Libiques, the Voconces, &c. West of the Rhone, the his- 
torians also show us many Ibero-Ligurian tribes and among 
others the Elezikes, occupying the Aude, the land where later 
rose the town of Narbonne ; in the eastern Pyrenees, the Sar- 
dones, whose chief town was Ruscino (Perpignan) and Illiberis 
(Elne). In the mountains dwelt the Consueranians, &c. 

The time is doubtless far off when it will be possible to 
gauge the influence of this great Ligurian migration to which all 
the historians refer without being able to give precise details. It 
is in no way, however, detrimental to our theory, but quite on 
the contrary. For in adopting it, it must also be admitted that on 
the first ethnical stratum other strata superimposed themselves. 
When we come at last to the Gauls and to the more precise facts 
which accompany their appearance, we understand better that 
the latter could not have radically changed the composition of the 
ethnical elements of the country, considering their very limited 
number and their incessant peregrinations outside the frontiers 
of ancient GauL 



What, in short, was this Gaul which La Tour d'Auvergne 
wished to consider as the cradle of humanity, and whose language 
as the mother language of all others ? According to this savant 
and his partisans, Gaul ought to claim all the rights which his- 
torians and linguists wrongly bestow on the mysterious Asiatic 
Aryana. When it is a matter of defining the frontiers of Gaul, 
we are very much embarrassed. Julius Caesar 1 has included 
it within the Rhine and the Alps towards the east, the Atlantic 
towards the west, the Channel towards the north, and the 
Pyrenees and Mediterranean towards the south. But the real 
Gaul extended far beyond these fictitious frontiers, and as 
D'Arbois de Jubainville explains with reason, one went to Rome 
for administrative purposes, for a precise geographical nomencla- 
ture and particularly for one which did not include too great an ex- 
tension of territories. 2 In reality the Gauls extended throughout 
the greater part of ancient Europe and even founded settle- 
ments in Asia Minor (Galatia). At the time in which historians 
place the first conquest of the Gauls in ancient Gaul, about 
600 B.C., another Celtic branch, the Goidels, had lived for over 
two centuries in the British Isles. After having taken the 
south of the Netherlands and a great part of France and 
of Belgium, they invaded the Iberic peninsula and occupied 

It is curious how history repeats itself ! Just as the English 
annexed the Transvaal for its rich mines of gold, the Goidels 
overcame Great Britain in times gone by because of its tin mines. 
Another Gaulish branch ventured into the Iberic peninsula 
for its mines of tin mixed with silver ! 

Towards the fourth century the Gauls established themselves 
successively in all the countries between the Danube and the 
Alps. These vast territories constitute to-day the southern parts 
of Bavaria, Wiirtemburg and a great part of Austria (Styria, 

1 De Bella Oallico. 

2 See on the subject of Gaula and Celts the very remarkable works of the 
same author, viz. , les Premiers Habitants de I' Europe ; lea Celtea ; also those of 
( las ton Paris, viz. Romania ; Ctesar, De Bella Oallico ; Tacitus, Germania ; 
Paul Broca, Memoires de la Society d'Anthropologie (VoL I.); Am. Thierry, 
Hiatoire det Qauloia, &c., &c. 


High and Low Austria, Salzburg, Carinthia, and lastly the south- 
west part of Hungary). They afterwards occupied a part of the 
Venetian territory, and invaded Italy. Pushed and worried by 
the Germanic peoples, they afterwards retreated towards the 
Balkan peninsula. The Tectosages, a Gaulish tribe, even 
succeeded in conquering, in Asia Minor, the little Gaul, viz. 
Galatia. In Italy their progress was more rapid. According to 
Livy, three Gaulish tribes settled towards the north of the Po, and 
three others to the south of this river. 1 When later (between 
197 and 189) the Gauls were vanquished in their turn by the 
Romans, we find that they possessed towns like Bologne 
(Bononia), Parma and Modena (Mutina). Not satisfied with all 
these peregrinations, they pushed as far as Udine, where a 
Gaulish people settled under the name of Garni. Italy, Spain, 
the Balkans, anywhere satisfied them. In the epoch during 
which the Gaulish Empire flourished (figuratively speaking, of 
course, for there never was an Emperor or even any unity of as- 
pirations, or sentiments of relationship between the many Gaulish 
nations) Bohemia also became their prey, as also Servia, Bulgaria 
and Roumania. They are even met with in Russia on the banks 
of the Dniester, where they founded a town, Carro-Dunum, and on 
the Bug. A Gaulish people, Scordisei, settled before all others 
in the north of the Balkans; afterwards the Gauls conquered 
the numerous Illyriana and Thracians living in the territory 
held to-day by Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later they pushed 
as far as the Black Sea. 


The Gauls also settled in Germany. They planted their stock 
in the centre and the south. Those Gauls who invaded France 
in the third century arrived directly from the basin of the 
Neckar and the Main. Julius Caesar even affirms in a formal 
way that the Gaulish tribe Uolcce Tectosages, which lived near 
Toulouse, had numerous representatives in Germany in the 
neighbourhood of the Hyrcanian forest. The Gauls enjoyed 
there, so Caesar adds, a great reputation owing to their justice 

1 The Cenomani, the Salluvii, and the Inaubrea in the north, and the Boii 
and the Langonea in the south. 


and courage. Now this country mentioned in the De Bello 
Gallico comprises the territory between northern Bavaria, royal 
and ducal Saxony, and Silesia. It is in Upper Silesia that 
Tacitus finds a Gaulish people called Cotini. 

If the name of the Germanic peoples was only known to the 
Greeks in the first century before Christ, if again, at the time 
of the invasion of the Cimbri and the Teutones, the Romans 
considered these two Germanic peoples as Gauls (even according 
to Cicero, De oratore, the Cimbri were a Gaulish people), it was 
because the Germanic folk had submitted to the Gauls for 
many centuries, and were politically confounded with them. 
The Gaulish invasion has left numerous traces in the life, 
language, and manners of Germania. Let us recall at this 
point that Tacitus speaks of the Helvetii as a Gaulish tribe 
living near the Rhine and the Main. In Germania there were 
also, according to the same author, Gothoni, speaking Gaulish, 
and Esthyeni, living on the southern coast of the Baltic, whose 
tongue was like that of the Celtic Breton. 

When we reflect on these vast ramifications which the Gaulish 
tree pushed out into Europe in all directions, it is clear that 
unless one wishes to be "paradoxical," it becomes impossible 
to affirm that Gaul was France and that the Gauls were French. 
How many European countries are there, without speaking of 
an Asiatic land, which could not claim the benefit of the same 
favour or privilege if it be a favour or privilege ! 

It is true that one could reply that all these peregrinations 
were for the purpose of conquest. But can we then forget that 
the Gauls were not the natives in France ? If they came there, 
it was only for the same reason which drove other conquerors in 
all the directions of the world. 

What is still more important is that at the time of Julius 
Caesar's invasion, that is, in the midst of Gaulish prosperity, 
France counted among its inhabitants three peoples differing in 
manners, tongue and even in race. 1 The Aquitani lived between 
the Garonne, the Pyrenees and the Ocean ; the Belgaa between 
the Seine and the Rhine; and the Gauls in the other pro- 
vinces, from the Garonne to the Seine and from the Alps to 
the Atlantic. According to the anthropologists, the Aquitani 
1 Paul Broca, Mdmoires dt la Soci&d d'Anthrop. Vol. L 


belonged to a race with black hair whose type is now preserved 
among the modern Basques. The Gauls were divided into two 
distinct groups, the Galli and the Kymri. 1 The latter came from 
the Black Sea and constitute what we are agreed to call the 
Belgians. Whereas these last had light eyes and fair hair, so 
Thierry tells us, the Galli had brown or black hair and eyes. 
Following Thierry, the historians have recounted real romances 
on the respective life of the Aquitani, the Kymri and the Galli, 
and we are even told that already at that period they were 
mixed by way of marriage and were undergoing reciprocal 

We must not forget the existence of the autochthonous race, 
the Ligurians, of whom we have already found numerous and 
imperishable traces. All these ethnographical elements have to 
be combined, and even supposing that there were no other for- 
gotten elements, they furnish us with a singular opinion of the 
" Gaulish " doctrine which reduces Gaul to France and identifies 
the French with the Gauls. 

Something better follows. We know that in the third century 
B.C. the Gaulish power was the butt of attacks directed against 
it from every side. The Germanic peoples, Romans, Greeks and 
Carthaginians endeavoured by a number of invasions to crush the 
Gauls and to reduce them to slavery. Those of Italy had to fight 
against the Romans; those of the Balkans against the Greeks ; 
those of the Iberian peninsula against the Carthaginians, and 
finally those of ancient France had to defend themselves at the 
same time against the Germanic peoples, the Romans, and after- 
wards the Normans. The Germanic and Norman tribes, pro- 
fiting by the disunion of the Gaulish people, often joined them- 
selves with certain Gaulish tribes in order to exterminate others. 
The Cimbri and the Teutones, Germanic peoples, allied them- 
selves with two Gaulish peoples, viz. the Helvetii and the Tigu- 
tini, living in the modern lands of Baden, Wtirtemburg and 
Bavaria, and, strengthened in this way, they threw themselves on 
Gaul. After having inflicted many disasters on the Romans. 

1 Am. Thierry, Histoire de Gauloie. 


they afterwards invaded Italy itself. If the Celtic period of 
Gaul gave way to that of the Roman conquest effected during 
the first centuries before and after Christ, this in its turn gave 
way to that of the Germanic invasion which was strengthened 
by the great migration of peoples (from the second to the sixth 
century A.D.). Moreover, the following centuries did not bring 
the much desired peace to Europe, bleeding and torn in 
pieces. But before examining the ethnical elements which 
all these turmoils brought into France, let us pause a moment 
before the Roman wars which devastated Gaul and had a 
decisive influence on its destinies. 

We note in the first place that the Gauls, an added stratum 
like the Ligurians and the Aquitani, were for the most part 
destroyed during these deadly wars. " During eight years of 
war (Plutarch tells us) Caesar had taken by storm more than 
800 towns, subjugated 300 tribes and vanquished 3,000,000 
fighters, of whom a million had perished in battle and a million 
had been reduced to slavery." 

The silence of decay and death, H. Martin tells us, reigned 
then in Gaul. The number of soldiers is no doubt exaggerated, 
but seeing that the condition of warriors was held in such high 
honour in Gaul, and that the circumstances were so critical, it 
may be admitted in principle that a third of the population 
able to carry arms disappeared, and that another third was 
taken away elsewhere. 

The process of Gaulish extermination, begun under Caesar, as- 
sumes frightful proportions during the first ten centuries after 

During the interminable period in which the barbaric invasions 
succeeded each other with unparalleled ferocity, the soil of Gaul 
was strewn with numerous corpses of newcomers and also especi- 
ally with those of the unfortunate inhabitants of the country. 
France became at that time a cemetery and a sort of funereal 
route, selected by all sorts of people who were thirsting for lauds 
and riches. 

We even find Mongolian Russians and Semitic Arabs 
coming in their turn in the same way as the Germanic and 
Norman invaders. The Wisigoths settled in Aquitaine, the 
Burgundians between the Rhone and the Loire; the Franks 



installed themselves everywhere, whilst the Normans took 
possession of the north of France. 

Why speak to us any more of Gaulish blood dominating in 
France when we remember that towards the fifth century the 
Germanic invaders not only spoiled the land of its riches but 
transformed it into a desert, carrying into captivity all its able- 
bodied inhabitants ? 

Henri Martin even tells us that in 406 they took away so 
many Gauls that the Belgian cities, according to the expression 
of a contemporary, were transferred into Germania. There were 
no more seen in the country either flocks, trees or harvests. 

The first Germanic invasion took place about a century before 
Christ. This Cimbric inundation lasted fourteen years and cost the 
Romans the loss of five consular years. The immigrations succeed 
one another up to the time when Marius inflicted a great defeat 
on the Germanic barbarians near Aix in 102. 

Besides the Cimbri and the Teutones, another Germanic peo- 
ple, the Suevi, also made an irruption into Gaul 


We know almost nothing concerning the ethnical origin of the 
Germanic peoples. The whole of our knowledge is based on 
ancient authors who furnish us with nothing but contradictory 
information. For if according to Tacitus they were a separate 
people and very ancient, according to many other contemporary 
writers before and after Tacitus they were merely Celts. 

When it is a question of indicating the ethnical character of 
the inhabitants on either side of the Rhine, we find historians 
contradicting one another in a singular way. Thus according to 
the four most trustworthy authors there were on the two sides 
of the Rhine : 

Lfft Bank. Right Bank. 

Caesar Gauls. Celts. . . Germanic. 

Dionysius of Halicarnassus . Galatea . . . Germanic. 

Diodoras of Sicily . . . Celts .... Galates. 

Dion Cassius .... Galates . . . Celts. 

Let us also remember that the arguments given by Tacitus in 
favour of a separate Germanic race, which arguments are drawn 
from their physiological appearance and also from their 


manners, apply equally to the Gauls. Thus the fair complexion, 
the fair hair, the striking courage and many other traits which 
Tacitus uses to construct a Germanic type, Livy and Polybius 
use to present us with a Gaulish type ! Beginning with poets 
like Virgil and ending with Claudian, many were the writers 
who praised " the fair-haired Germania " and also the " fair and 
tall " Gauls, which proves how difficult it was even in Caesar's 
time to find clearly distinct types and to make a collective 
psychology of peoples ! 

What is more certain is that the inhabitants of Germania 
invaded Gaul by land, rivers and even by sea. The most ardent 
and also those who left the most durable traces in Gaul were 
without doubt the Burgundians and the Franks. The first 
were part of the Vindils or Vandals who occupied the north- 
east of Germania. Driven back by Probus in the second half 
of the third century, they joined the Romans in 370 under 
Valentinian. The Romans succeeded in attracting them paci- 
fically into Gaul in view of thus winning interested defenders 
against the barbarians. Lands were conceded to them and little 
by little their stock was established in the provinces between 
the Moselle, the Vosges mountains and the Rhine. Owing to 
the force of circumstances and as a result of unsuccessful battles 
against the Huns towards the middle of the fifth century, the 
Burgundians were obliged to retreat towards Ain and Savoy. 
In the sixth century they completely lost their independence 
and were incorporated into the Frankish kingdom. 

As to the Franks, they only appear two centuries after the 
Burgundians. Of a much more mysterious origin than the 
other Germanic folk, we find the earliest traces of them 
only in 240 in the work of Flavius Vopiscus dedicated to the 
tribune Aurelian. Sometimes beaten and driven back by 
the Romans and sometimes victorious in their innumerable 
incursions, it may be said that the motto of the Franks 
was " Always to the front." They never ceased to place their 
landmarks in Gaul until the decisive moment when in 438, 
under their chief, Clodion, they succeeded in taking possession 
of a great part of the country. Clovis, who succeeded Clodion, 
beat back successively the Romans, the Alamanni, the 
Burgundians, and the Wisigoths. Under the rule of his 

B 2 


successors they succeeded in transforming Gaul into a kingdom 
of Franks. 

Besides these two peoples called Germanic, a dozen others 
invaded Gaul incessantly. Naturally their advent was followed 
by all the incidents which characterised the barbarous wars of 
other times, the violation and enslavement of women, the 
murder and sale of adults and children, &c. All this must have 
strongly modified the ethnical composition of the population. 
By way of the Rhine came first the Alamanni, who settled on 
the left bank in Alsace and Lorraine. Piratical Saxons made 
incursions on the coasts of Gaul. The Vandals, a Germanic 
tribe according to some (Pliny and Tacitus), Sarmatian or 
Slav according to others (Lagneau, Anthropologie de la France), 
made several cruel invasions into Gaul during the first half of 
the sixth century. The Barbarians in retiring always left a part 
of their army in the land which they had invaded. Sometimes 
allured by the fertility of the soil and sometimes desirous of 
enjoying the fortunes they had acquired by pillaging, or simply 
weary of the hard work of soldiers, they settled in the new 
country and broke off every tie with their old life. There were 
thus in France towards the end of the fifth century numerous 
colonies founded by Alans, the allies of the Vandals, on either 
bank of the Loire and in a part of Armorica. These Alans 
were, according to Pliny, merely Scythians ! During the fifth 
century Gaul was also the prey of the Huns and the Wisigoths. 
The first have no doubt left but few traces in the composition 
of the Gaulish blood, but it was otherwise with the Wisigoths, 
to whom Honorius ceded in 418 Aquitaine and Toulouse. In 
the place of the Gauls who perished in great numbers in 
battle or else were transplanted into Germany, numerous 
Germanic folk took possession. Nearly all these principal 
tribes planted their stock there. The country, however, was so 
devastated and the population was so thin that the blood of the 
Germanic people was bound to replace abundantly that of the 



The Normans continued the work of destruction undertaken 
by so many predecessors. It was all the easier in that they met 
with only few obstacles. The north and south of France 
were equally devastated and equally defenceless. 

" On one occasion two hundred Normans ventured as far as 
Paris, meeting with no obstacle. No one arrived to bar their 
way " (Sismondi). 

The author of the Histoire gdn6rale du Languedoc (Paris, 
1730, Vol. I.) tells us again that the greatest desolation reigned 
in the south of France. The inhabitants were scattered and 
the towns ruined. The lands brought in nothing and the vine- 
yards and orchards were abandoned. Misery was so great 
according to Depping l that the people in the country " were 
reduced to eating dogs and even human flesh, whilst the 
mortality was simply fearful." 

The Normans then came in their turn to take possession of 
the place which remained empty. Here we have a new stratum 
of population superimposed on so many others arriving from all 
quarters and settling on French soil. What was the origin of 
these newcomers? They have been regarded as Scythians, 
Vandals, Huns, Moors, Saracens, Germanic folk, and even 
Russians. In the vast quantity of literature on this subject, 
all opinions find ardent and ingenious defenders. The Normans 
have undergone the fate common to so many other peoples and 
races. They burst through all narrow classifications and escape 
the limits within which it is desired to confine them. Let us 
note, however, the opinion of Robert Wace (Roman du Eou}, 
who sees in them men of different blood. To him the Normans 
were only an assemblage of pirates coming from the North. 
The position of the Norman was peculiar. He was an 
adventurer and a plunderer by trade, and in order to belong 
to them there was no need to show any certificate of birth 
or of origin. 

One must then be animated with a fine courage to presume 

1 Histoire des Expeditions Maritime* des Normands. 


to state exactly the quality of blood which the Normans intro- 
duced among the inhabitants of Gaul. 

Let us content ourselves with showing that its quantity is 
not to be disregarded. For the Normans pushed far into the 
interior of the country. Orleans, Auxerre, Burgundy, Nantes 
and many other towns and districts retain numerous traces of 
their invasion. In 854, after having taken possession of Bor- 
deaux and after having burnt it, they reached Toulouse. Hasting 
after his return from an expedition against Luna (on the Gulf 
of Spezia, which the Norman hordes mistook for the city of 
Rome), went up the Rhone and sojourned at Nimes and at 
Aries. Thus the Normans spread themselves over the whole 
of France. Their expeditions succeed one another with pro- 
digious rapidity, and without doubt they contributed largely, as 
feared and respected conquerors, to the repopulation of Gaul. 
It would be all the more unjust to disregard their merits in 
this respect, inasmuch as the male population was more than 
thinly sown, the inhabitants consisting mostly of women and 

The policy of Rollo, among other things, contributed much 
to this result, for immediately after having obtained from 
Charles the Simple a part of Neustria, which afterwards took 
the name of Normandy, this chief of the pirates, afterwards 
the first Duke of Normandy, undertook to repeople his country. 
The task being too great for his army, he attracted with this 
object numerous Germanic people into Normandy. 

Let us add that already in the sixth century the country 
of Bayeux (Depping) was peopled by a colony of Saxons from 


To give an account of the probable composition of the blood 
of France, we must also consider many other races and peoples 
who are generally forgotten when it is a matter of enumerating 
its constituent elements. 

Let us remember in the first place the Vascons and the 
Basques. They held many spots in the south-west of France. 1 
1 Fauriel, Hitt. de la Gaulc mtridionale, &c. 


In the reign of the Merovingians, Chilperic I. and Thierry II., 
Vasconia corresponded with the present departments of the Upper 
and Lower Pyrenees, Gers and Landes. 

The Phoenicians founded numerous markets and colonies on 
the north-west coast of the Mediterranean, of which the town 
of Nimes was one of the best known. The same applies to the 
Saracens (Moors) who invaded France in 721, and, after having 
taken possession of Narbonne and Carcassonne, went higher up 
towards the north. In spite of the defeats inflicted on them 
several years later, they settled in Septimania (a country 
bordering on the eastern Pyrenees near the Rhone). There 
joined this first stratum a supplementary immigration at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, when numerous Moors, 
chased from Spain, sought refuge in France. Certain anthro- 
pologists believe that they can find traces of these Moors in 
France. 1 

What, again, shall we say of the Sarmatians and Slavs, whose 
descendants must be very numerous in France? In their 
number figured certain tribes already mentioned above, like the 
Vandals or Vindils and the Alans, to which there should be 
added the Taifali, the Agathyrsi, the Ruteni, and also the 
Burgundians, who, according to A. Gauguin, were simply 

The Alans, who are so frequently mentioned in the chronicles 
of the invasion, generally accompanied the Vandals, and were 
considered as of Slav origin. They have left numerous traces 
in France. Their descendants are found near Valence in the 
country of the Loire, &c. The Taifali, who also arrived with the 
Alans, settled in Poitou. They lived on the banks of the 
Sevre (Nantaise), in the Pagus Teofalgicus, near the little town 
bearing the name of Tiffanges (Vendee). As for the Agathyrsi, 
called Hamatobes, of a Scythian stock, they also left descendants 
in Poitou, and, according to Le Play, certain customs of 
agricultural communities which are met with in Auvergne and 
Nivernais are of Slav origin. 

Were the Sarmatians, Slavs and Scythians, whom the ancients 

1 M. Paul Guillemot sees them in Bugey ; Elisee Reclus in Landes ; between 
Chambe'ry and the lake of Annecy (Hudry-Menos, Cotte) ; near Plombi&res 
(Dr. Bens), &c., &c. 


identified with such facility, really of common origin ? This 
question appears all the more insoluble in that the chroniclers 
of the past apply these three names indiscriminately to the 
numerous peoples of whose origin they were ignorant. 

Let us be content with adding that the Slavs in any case 
have descendants in France much more authentic than the 
Ruteni. Those who settled from the land of the Morini to the 
mouths of the Rhine came there from the north of England. 
But long before this immigration there were numerous Ruteni 
on the banks of the Aveyron. 

The Greek and Roman races, viz. the Pelasgians, Sabines, 
Latins, Hellenes, Tyrrhenians and Etruscans who settled under 
the name of Protiades in the environs of Massilia (Marseilles), 
pretended to be the descendants of Protos, the son of Eutenius 
and Vesta. Numerous Greek colonists, attracted by their pro- 
sperity, came to join them, and towns founded by them are there 
to bear witness to their presence and their ramifications into the 
neighbouring country. Among these towns, let us note those 
which have survived the march of centuries like AvrnroXi^ 
(Antibes), Portus Herculis Monoeci (Monaco), Arclatus (Aries). 
'lepov (Hyeres), &c., &c. The Romans arrived later to continue 
the work of the Greeks. Who will ever be able to define the 
quality of their blood ? All sorts of tribes which, as conquerors 
or conquered, are associated with the history of Rome, contri- 
buted to its composition ! 

Without doubt we shall never know the exact truth on the 
subject of these many enigmas. For each people introduces 
a dozen which are insoluble. Thus with regard to the 
Pelasgians, we do not even know whether they were of white 
origin. Did not Reinisch and Beeck maintain this 
revolutionary theory, that they were simply mulattoes, 
the result of a crossing between white and black folk ? Who 
will ever say what the Sabines and Etruscans were ? 

The Semitic race is represented in France not only through the 
Phoenicians and Moors, but also through the Jews, whose arrival 
at Diodorum (Metz) was noticed in the year 222. Their 
number in Gaul must have been considerable, for the law of 
Gondebald in 500 contains many severities towards them. 
They were successively banished from France by Philip 


Augustus, Philip the Fair, Charles VI., &c., and recalled by 
Louis-le-Hutin and John II. the Good. Nevertheless they have 
been met with from all time in Provence, Lorraine and 
Burgundy. According to F. Michel, numerous and rich 
Jewish families were found in the twelfth century at Be*ziers, 
Montpellier, Narbonne, Marseilles, &c. The persecutions in 
Spain contributed to augment their number in France. Chased 
away by the Inquisition, they settled in the region between 
Bayonne and Bordeaux. According to the author of the Paces 
maudites, many Jewish colonies were collectively converted to 
Christianity and lost in other peoples. They were known by 
the nickname of " Marrons " in Auvergne, " Polacres " in Lozere 
and " Gets " in Faucigny. Later, German, Russian and Polish 
Jews came to augment the dose of Semitic blood which flows in 
French veins. 

The Uralo- Altaic races, that is, Mongol, Ugrian and Finnish, 
have also numerous representatives in France. The Huns, who 
invaded Gaul, included in their train the most dissimilar tribes. 
They themselves, composed of Tartars and Mongols (A. Thierry 
and de Guignes), were in particular followed by Finnish 
peoples. L. Dussieux l mentions among the Huns, the Avars, 
Uzes, Khasars, Cumans, the Finnish-Ostiac-Magyars, &c. 

We are told, it is true (Fustel de Coulanges), that neither 
the Huns nor the numerous Uralo- Altaic tribes who from 910 
to 954 ravaged Alsace, Burgundy, Provence, &c., left children 
behind them. What does it matter ? The anthropologists and 
the historians who affirm it assure us at the same time of 
the existence of numerous Mongoloid types among the French 
of France. 

Mah4 de la Bourdonnais, Drs. Topinard, Beddoe, Guibert, 
Collignon, &c., note numerous Mongoloids among the Bigoudens 
in the south of Quimper in Brittany. Dr. A. Roujon finds 
this type in Picardy, Brittany, Auvergne, in Morvan, at Mont- 
pellier and even in the environs of Paris. Professor Sabatier 
says that he has even met them in the CeVennes, &c. 

Our Mongoloids are distinguished, like their Asiatic brethren, 
by a small flat nose, a flat and extremely large face, palpebral 
eye-sockets, rather frequently oblique and only slightly opened, 

1 Esaai hist, sur lea Invasions dee Hongrois en Europe et eptcialement en France. 


a chin somewhat effaced, a large skull (brachycephalic), a 
globular head, tanned skin, small stature, &c. 

How can we explain the persistence of this type if the in- 
vasions which we have spoken of above had passed over France 
without leaving any traces like water off polished metal ? Let 
us note on this subject the opinion maintained with so much 
authority by G. nerve*. According to him, the Celto-Ligurians 
themselves were simply far removed descendants of the Mon- 
goloids ! 

Let us desist from any comments and bend to the fact 
of the influence of the Mongol element in the formation of the 
French people. 

In more modern times, France, which is justly considered as 
the most favourable country in which to gain or spend money, 
continues to be the object of singular attraction to representa- 
tives of all the civilised peoples of the earth. Whereas in 
England the number of foreign residents is only 5 per 1,000, in 
Germany 8, in Austria 17, it attains to 40 per 1,000 in France ; 
and a circumstance which gives rise to meditation is that the 
foreign population grows thirteen times more quickly in France 
than the native element (see on this subject the studies of 

If we enlarge our limits and include the greater France with 
its numerous colonies, we shall obtain a veritable ethnical sum- 
mary of all the peoples of the earth ! 


But let us confine ourselves to Gaul, and endeavour to 
note as they come the names of tribes which have contributed 
to the formation of the French blood Aquitani, Iberians, 
Vascones, Silures, Salians, Libui, Suevi, Vulgientes, Sar- 
dones, Conqueranians, Arverni, Bituriges, Santoni, Pictones, 
Cambolectri, Agesineses, Turones, Andegades, Carnutes, Veneti, 
Curiosolitae, Redones, Osismi, Abricantuens, Lexovii, Aulerci, 
Vellocasses, Caletes, Parisii, Lingones, Helvetii, Mdui, Leuci, 
&c., &c.; Alans, Vandals, Teifales, Agathyrsi, Ruteni, Polonais, 
Venedes, &c., &c. ; Belgae, Galates, Cimbri, Wisigoths, Burgun- 


dians, Franks, Saxons, Germans, Suevi, &c., &c., with hundreds 
of subdivisions ; Phoenicians, Saracens (Moors), Jews, Etruscans, 
Pelasgians, Sabines, Tyrrhenians, Mongoloid peoples, &c., &c., 
without mentioning odd tribes like the Gypsies and many 
other " accursed " races, the origin and ethnical links of which 
are less known ; and also negroid peoples whose prior existence 
in France appears to be proved by the discovery of the 
Valaisan skulls dating from the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries, 1 and neolithic skulls of Armorica of the same negroid 

When we reflect on the intermingling of so many disparate 
elements, and when we also think that Germania for centuries 
gave shelter to numerous Gaulish tribes, we are tempted to take 
the side of M. d'Arbois de Jubainville, that " there is probably in 
Germany more Gaulish blood than in France." 2 The Burgun- 
dian, Wisigothic, Frankish and Norman blood has perhaps in- 
oculated France with more Germanic blood than there remains 
in modern Germany. 

Consequently two strange conclusions stand out from the 
anthropological history of France and indirectly from that of 
Germany. On the one hand, France is the vastest and richest 
reservoir of ethnical elements, and cannot claim the dominant 
quality of the Gaulish people or country. On the other hand 
(a conclusion which is still more unexpected), if it were 
absolutely necessary to attribute Gaulish descent to a European 
people, it would be to that of Germany. 

We thus arrive at a most unexpected imbroglio. The 
French have become a Germanic folk and the Germanic folk 
have become Gaulish ! 

The truth no doubt is to be found elsewhere. The two 
countries, like so many other European States, have numerous 
ancestors in common. It is dangerous to wish to analyse their 
blood and to disentangle its constituent elements. For, when 
the regular historical channel of facts is followed without 

1 This is the conclusion of a memoir read on this subject before the Academy 
of Sciences (in April, 1904) " By their general cranial form and cephalic 
index, by their maxillary prognathism, the details of their dentition, by their 
platyrhiny, all these Valaisan skulls of the Valley of the Rhone are negroid in 
a very striking degree." 

' Let Ctlte* (Preface, xi). 


preconceived ideas, and when we have the courage to reject com- 
monplaces which demand respect only on account of their age, 
we find ourselves face to face with truths which are in flagrant 
opposition to current phraseology. Our usual terminology 
thus loses all meaning, whilst our Aryan prejudices, Germanic 
or Gaulish, reduced to the questionable support of custom and 
tradition, are ripe, like all our prejudices, for rejection and 



THERE is reason to admire the persistence with which the 
French and the Italians never cease to proclaim themselves 
Latin peoples. At the moment when Spain, seriously attacked 
by a crisis of convalescence alarming for her future, draws 
on herself the witticisms of other lands ; at the moment when 
so many little " Latin " republics still astonish the world with 
the incoherence of their social and political life ; to wish in 
spite of all to belong to the family whose defects and failings 
never cease to be criticised, this surely borders on heroism. 
Nevertheless we find striking proofs of it in light and serious 
books, in the discourses of politicians and statesmen, and in the 
writings of journalists, thinkers and savants. For the power of 
error under the mask of truth is decidedly greater than that of 
truth itself ! 

Once the Latin doctrine is admitted, there is no hesitation in 
committing in its name all sorts of patriotic sacrileges. For is 
not accepting Latin descent the same as admitting the decadence 
of all its members, including of course the French nation ? 
Starting from this point, the French-Latin people are contrasted 
with the insular Anglo-Saxons. The one have all the vices 
and all the failings, and the other all the merits and all the good 
qualities. Our would-be physicians, assembled round our bed, 
discuss gravely the state of our malady, nay rather, the date of 
our decease. Our irreparable ruin is certain to all. France is 
rebuked, among other things, for a lack of seriousness, for a 


lack of directing principles in life, for the corruption of her 
manners and that of her official life which must shortly 
consume her, and also for her diminished birth-rate, which 
presages her early exit. "For the last twenty-seven years 
there has been no pleasure in being a Frenchman," so 
cried Jules Lemaltre one day, altogether abashed by the sad 
rumours which were current concerning his dear country. 
We recollect the stir which the works of M. Demolins made, 
who, like his numerous followers, did not believe in the possible 
salvation of the Latins except through a blind imitation of 
the Anglo-Saxons. 

Quite a pessimistic and debilitating literature arose from 
these sentiments of disdain for France and discouragement for 
her future. We scrutinised the signs of malady among these 
Latin brethen like people condemned to a common torture, who 
look with anguish on the altered features of their fellows. 
Prophets of evil augury sprang up on every side. It became 
the fashion to bring into contempt French energy and the 
accursed propensities of its spirit. Nothing obtained grace in the 
eyes of these implacable Zoileans who, convinced of our inferiority, 
spent their lives in proclaiming it from the housetops. The 
"licensed" patriots distinguished themselves in particular in 
this concert of vociferations. The " nationalists," whose function 
is everywhere to claim a monopoly of patriotism for themselves 
while denying it to the other members of the community, 
never ceased praising the inhabitants of the two worlds at our 
expense. Did they not even prefer the Mongols of Europe and 
Asia to France and other " neo-Latin " countries ! 

In their strange love for their country, they never considered 
that this pessimism only weakened its living forces. For if 
confidence in ourselves and the exaltation of our powers 
augment their intensity, discouragement consigns peoples and 
individuals to impotence. Through hearing it repeated that 
they were irremediably condemned, the French ended in 
believing in the reality of their malady. The literature of 
"French depreciation" gathered strength with its growth. 
The foreigner, moreover, took us at our word. He accepted 
this suggestion coming from France, in order to hurl it back in 
the form of a most humiliating pity or hateful disdain. 


Demoralised by all this diagnosis, France fell for a time into 
a veritable moral torpor. The enervated land seemed a prey 
to a kind of general weakening. The initiative and boldness 
of French ideas seemed to have disappeared, and pornography 
abandoned to its appetites of lucre invaded us on all sides. 
Saviours from every quarter threatened us incessantly with 
their "special cure," whilst the country, in order to justify 
its reputation of being " used up " and " decrepit," seemed to 
abandon itself to the enterprising energy of adventurers both 
from within and without. 

Suddenly the abrupt awakening of Italy gave the lie to the 
neo-Latin decadence. Then the war in the Transvaal came to 
show up the grave and unsuspected weakness of Britain. 
Instances of corruption arising in Germany also opened our 
eyes with regard to that country. At the same time a 
troublesome affair happening in France moves her profoundly. 
Her sleeping energies awake under the impulse of the moment. 
The best of her citizens sound the tocsin of the revival of the 
national conscience, and France presents the unusual spectacle 
of a whole people impassioned and battling for years round 
an abstract idea. A little later the Russo-Japanese war 
causes her to see that the pretended youth of the Russian 
people does not spell moral and material health. France 
breathes more freely, and considers with justifiable satisfaction 
her role of a great nation, surrounded with universal respect, and 
guiding humanity towards nobler and better ends. She has at 
length understood that her past and present and the great moral 
future which is reserved for her, cannot be confined to the little 
ethnical tree to which her imprudent friends and envious enemies 
wish to bind her. In meditating on her destinies, France has 
certainly understood that her genealogical tree must be more 
widely human than narrowly Latin. Who knows even whether 
she remains Latin in any sense whatsoever ! 


Leaving on one side the great intellectual influence exercised 
by the Romans, let us for the moment confine ourselves to 


speaking of their ethnical force. Now in this respect it would 
be difficult to deny that it was almost nil. Let us not forget 
that Rome, including the adjacent districts, only contained an 
infinitesimal population as compared with that which lived in 
her vast provinces and dependencies. In taking possession of 
a new country, Rome could not think of sending there any 
part of her inhabitants. On the other hand, these were so 
content at home that they did not dream of expatriating them- 
selves. The liberty which was so dear to them, the fruits of 
a civilisation which was advanced for the time, and which they 
enjoyed at home, what barbarous country was there which 
could provide them with the like ? In the conquered provinces 
we ought perhaps only to look for Roman officials and legion- 
aries. But the officials sent out from Rome remind us of those 
appointed by France in her own colonies. All that attracted 
them was the desire to make or repair their fortunes, or to play 
a great part, with the hope of returning to the metropolis as soon 
as possible. Even these officials were not numerous. What 
constituted the strength of the Romans at all times was their 
grasp of the interests of the conquered country, and also the 
liberalism of the principles which they applied. In order to 
attach the new subjects to themselves, they respected their 
customs as far as they could, and their religion and their institu- 
tions. In their desire to forge links of sympathy between 
the capital and the conquered peoples, they chose the most 
distinguished among the compatriots of the latter in order to 
entrust them with lucrative posts and honourable places. 
Rome had in this way less need to remove her own citizens 
whilst at the same time creating a solid foundation for her 
territorial expansion. Let us remember also that, guided by 
their administrative genius, they had recourse to acts of aston- 
ishing liberality for that age. Did they not even go so far as 
to elevate certain inhabitants of the Gaulish capital to the rank 
of Roman senators ! Moreover, the creation of local senates 
gave satisfaction to the ambitious spirits in the conquered lands. 
All these measures created an intense inner force, nourished as 
it was by elements drawn from the subjected provinces. 

As for the Roman legions, let us not forget in the first place 
that, if the leaders were generally Romans, yet the soldiers 


were specially recruited from among the many peoples who 
comprised the Empire. Urged on by the same administrative 
preoccupations, Rome, followed in this respect by modern 
England, always tried to form local armies. Thus Caesar, after 
the conquest of Gaul, at the moment when such an enter- 
prise would have seemed most hazardous, did not hesitate to 
form the legion of the Lark, composed exclusively of Gauls. 

The more we reflect on the distinctive characteristics of the 
Roman conquest, the more we perceive that it could bring no 
change into the composition of the blood of the so-called Latin 
nations. The two principal roads which were bound to lead to 
an union of anthropological traits between the conquerors and 
the inhabitants of Gaul were, when all is told, only two little 
by-paths, along which only a few thousand Roman families 
passed at most. Now when we consider that the Gaul of that 
time must have had many millions of inhabitants, we easily 
see that the interblending of Roman blood could not have 
changed the character of the whole. Even admitting with 
Julian that there were about 30,000 Romans in Gaul, we can 
easily understand that these could not count for much in the 
anthropological formation of the modern French nation. 

We shall see later on that the same remarks apply to the 
Italians, that pre-eminently Latin nation. We have seen above 
that most of the peoples whom we have met with in Gaul, and 
whose origins were so diverse, also penetrated Italy, which 
country served for centuries as a meeting-place for all the 
human races. According to M. Gebhart, we see there, simul- 
taneously or successively, Gauls, Spaniards, Greeks, Asiatics, 
Egyptians, Jews, Germanic peoples, Bretons, Africans, Goths, 
Longobards, Byzantines (Ravenna), Slavs (Venice), Germans, 
Normans, Angevins, Saracens, &c. 

According to M. Fouillee, what remains ethnically after this 
eternal procession of races is not the Latin element, but the 
Celto-Slav element with wide skulls in the North and 
numerous Mediterranean folk with long skulls in the South. 

Nor can Spain prove her Latin origin. She also for 
centuries sheltered numerous races and peoples. We would 
have to pass a sponge over the momentous history of her past, 
blotting out a thousand years, in order to credit the Quirites 



with the blood which flows in Spanish veins. The anthropo- 
logists even tell us that what prevails in Spain is the brown 
and dolichocephalic Mediterranean type with a Celto-Germanic 
mixture. Most of the peoples who have traversed France and 
Italy have likewise contributed to transforming its blood, not 
to speak of Africans, who without doubt have contributed more 
to the present ethnical type of Spain than the Celts and the 
Latins put together. 

What shall we say, lastly, of the South American republics ? 
In the blood of their inhabitants flows that of all the races in 
the world. Noble blood, too, for it is essentially mixed ; but 
have the Latins any part in it ? These peoples, of whom it 
is the fashion to make fun as to their many origins and 
whimsical ancestry, ought rather to glory in it. For, and it can 
never be repeated too often, the nations who march at the 
head of humanity are above all things distinguished for their 
most extensive ethnical ramifications ! 

It might be said that a kind of irony presides over the 
baptism of all the Latin nations, so called because the blood of 
the Romans is conspicuous in them by its absence ! When, 
moreover, we analyse the origins of other European peoples, we 
find likewise numerous common ancestors, so many indeed 
that the pure ethnological type remains accentuated only in the 
manuals of anthropology ! It is enough to recall the ethnical 
history of France and to remember the names of all the 
peoples who have planted their stock there, in order to recog- 
nise that in the French blood the Latin addition must be 
treated as a negligible quantity. 


But, unharmed anthropologically by Latin admixture, France 
and the other so-called Latin countries may perhaps be charac- 
terised as such intellectually. Therefore, not Latin races, but 
Latin mentality. The difference deserves to be noticed. For, 
whereas ethnical origin means fatal descent and connection, 
unavoidable if not eternal, Latin intellectuality is only a passing 
phase. However important may be the influence of the ideas 


which fashion our mentality, mentality itself is modified with 
the modification of the factors which create it. Germany by 
becoming Protestant changed the conditions of its soul. 
French Protestants themselves, having undergone an influence 
diverging from that which has contributed to the intellectual 
formation of the majority of French Catholics, are to be 
distinguished from them in many ways. The same applies to 
French rationalists, who in the second generation, after being 
brought up in a way contrary to that of believing Catholics, 
resemble these last mentally less than they do strangers 
nourished from the same source of independent thought. 

Our soul evolves and is transformed under the influence of 
political and social institutions, for which cause the soul of 
modern France, like that of other Latin peoples, is assuredly 
not that of a few centuries ago. Let us take for example the 
intellectual evolution of France, and we shall see that even 
here Latin influence is far from being exclusive. 

The language, administration, and also the civilisation of 
Gaul were developed under Roman influence. Yet can it be 
affirmed that French thought has followed from all time the 
unique direction given by Latin mentality ? Such was the case, 
no doubt, during the first centuries, just as English civilisation 
after the Norman Conquest was fashioned according to the 
French model. But just as England, becoming emancipated 
in time, pursued her own course while preserving at the same 
time as original bases the language and ideas from the other 
side of the Channel, so France, after having yielded to the Latin 
impulse and drunk sufficiently at its sources, proceeded later 
on towards an intellectuality more suitable to her situation 
in the world and the capacities of her people. 

As a millionaire must not forget the debt of gratitude which 
he owes to the person who advanced his original capital, so 
France must remember what she owes to Roman civilisation. 
One would, however, fall into an unpardonable exaggeration 
in identifying the immense wealth subsequently acquired with 
the first Latin deposit. For what sources and tributaries have 
not contributed towards forming the French Sea ! 

The psychology of the French genius is most complex. It is 
the result of the widest comprehension and adaptation of the 

s 2 


intellectual conquests of all other civilised countries, enriched and 
enhanced by the essential qualities of its own peculiar mental- 
ity. For as France ethnically is only the product of a mixture 
of divers races and peoples, the French mind and genius 
carry the impress of the intellectual travail of civilisations 
created elsewhere. The French language took much time to 
become an independent organism, but it succeeded nevertheless 
in becoming such. More time was necessary for her to emerge 
out of chaos than was necessary for the Greek and Latin lan- 
guages put together. In Homer, that is, a few centuries after 
the formation of the Greek people, the language is already 
formed and crystallised. The same applies to the Latin tongue, 
which in the Twelve Tables (451 B.C. and 200 after the founda- 
tion of Rome) is seen in all its beauty and energetic vigour. 
The French language took eight centuries to get into shape. 
It took twice that time to conquer the world. For the lingua 
ramana rustica, the language of the peasants, which in evolving 
became the French language, existed already in the seventh 
century. Under the Carlovingians it held its own before Teu- 
tonic and Latin. The priests were forced to preach in this vulgar 
tongue, like the Abbot of Corbie (in 750), in order to be under- 
stood of their parishioners. In 813 the Councils of Tours and 
Rheims ordered the priests to preach in the vulgar tongue and in 
Roman. The history of its diffusion is the history of the valiant 
struggles maintained with vigour against the Latin to begin 
with, and also against the Greek, Spanish, and Tuscan. Always 
fought against but never vanquished, the French tongue developed 
itself painfully but surely. It gained in richness and strength and 
commended itself more and more to the usage of the peoples. 
From the thirteenth century the Italians adopted it. From 
that date it " spread in the world ": so tells us the Italian savant, 
Hartino de Casare, who translated into French the Latin history 
of Venice " because the French tongue is more refined for read- 
ing and speaking than any other." As it developed it eman- 
cipated itself from the Latin tongue and became an independent 
language. When in the sixteenth century the respect due to a 
clearly defined idiom is paid to it, this has been gained by its 
wonderful virtues. 1 

1 See Jean Finot, La, France decant la lutte des langues. Paris. 1900. 


Latin played the same part with regard to French as the 
latter exercised for many centuries with regard to English. The 
French language prevailed in that country till the reign of 
Henry VIII. The English writers themselves until the end of 
the fourteenth century tried to write in French (R. de Grosse- 
teste, Pierre de Langtoft, &c.). Instruction and education were 
given in French, for even in the fourteenth century English 
students were more numerous than any other foreigners at the 
Paris University. 

All the phenomena of English life are impregnated with French 
influence, its romance, philosophy, political constitution, poetry, 
science and arts. The Anglo-Saxon literature of the fourteenth 
century has scarcely anything but translations of French 
romances of chivalry. Again, in the fifteenth century many 
poets wrote the first part of their verse in English and the 
second in French. The number of French words in English is 
twice that of words of Germanic origin. 1 Hume tells us that 
the most beautiful parts of the English tongue, without consider- 
ing the quantity of its borrowed elements, are drawn from the 
French and their language. Nevertheless English, born under 
the influence of the French language and nourished so abund- 
antly by its roots, also became in emancipating itself an in- 
dependent idiom, and holds a glorious position in the domain 
of languages. 


When we examine the many sides of the formation of the 
French genius, we perceive that the Latin impress has had 
with time to give way to other influences acting outside its 
sphere and often in a contrary direction. Thus the national 
consciousness in evolving has become finally altogether dis- 
tinct from its primitive formulas. Note, for example, that 
French syntax has become radically different from Latin syntax. 
This is an important difference, for it influences the evolution 
of French thought in the way of research, individualism and 
criticism. Moreover, all those who exalt the influence of Latin 
according to their fancy, seem to forget that the same tongue 
under the influence of other factors has become Spanish, Italian, 
1 See Skeats's Etymological Dictionary. 


and even Roumanian, and one may even add English on account 
of its Franco-Latin formation. They surely forget the effect pro- 
duced by climate and so many other factors of the milieu on 
language. Yet this truth has already been formulated with 
admirable precision by President des Brosses. " Every people," 
be says, " has its own alphabet which is not that of another, and 
in which there are several letters which it is impossible for 
another to pronounce. Climate, atmosphere, skies, waters, modes 
of life and nourishment are the causes of this variation." 

We are familiar with the violent discussions of these later 
times on the subject of the prevailing tendencies and mission 
of France. To thinkers and writers like Paul Bourget, 
F. Brunetiere or M. Barres, French is Latin and nothing but 
Latin. M. Brunetiere even sums up all its history as " efforts 
to maintain, vindicate and defend its Latinity against external 
invaders and internal foes." Pursuing to the end his Latin 
paradox, the eminent critic tells us that the great preoccupation 
of the Latin genius was the tendency to universality and 
catholicity : " France is Catholicism and Catholicism is France." l 
But Latin influence, which is nil ethnically, is far from being 
exclusive in what concerns the formation of French thought. 
Even in the religious world, where Latinity ought to be the 
synonym of catholicity, history breaks irreverently the barriers 
which " nationalists " assign to it. It shows us that catholicity 
as conceived by MM. Brunetiere, Bourget, and their numerous 
followers is in flat contradiction to French tradition and 
genius. Gallicanism is old in France by many centuries. The 
enemies of this " catholicity " are especially recruited from among 
the old families, as the indignant cries of their mouthpiece, 
Agrippa d'Aubigne", prove, who contrasts his French blood with 
the " Spanish vermin " and the " Italian poisoners," introducers 
of a " catholicity foreign " to the traditions of his beloved France. 

' L'air encore une fois, centre eux, se troublera, 
Justice an juge Saint, contre eux, demandera, 
Disant : Pourquoi, Tyrans et furieuses bestes, 
M'empoisonates- vous de charognes, de pestea ? 


Change&tes-vous en sang 1'argent de nos ruisseaux ? " 

Les Tragiques. 

1 Discourt de combat. 


Architecture, painting, sculpture, and also philosophy and 
jurisprudence in France, all throw off the Latin influence with 
the march of centuries. The same liberating movement goes 
on in the other domains of literary, political and moral life. 
Mixed with so many other factors, the Latin element loses its 
preponderance and its decisive character. 

It is enough to study French literature and to examine the 
origin of its principal tendencies in order to see how much 
it owes to foreign sources. We could fill several volumes, if 
we desired to discuss thoroughly the influences which foreign 
countries have exercised on all phases of our literary activity. 
French romance and philosophy, for example, in these last 
centuries have grown and developed under English influence. 
Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau were permeated by English 
ideas and submitted to their force willingly or inevitably. The 
Lettres Anglaises of Voltaire, one of the most sensational works in 
literary history, were written as a direct consequence of travels 
in England. " Diderot is quite English " (F. Brunetiere). As for 
Rousseau, with " his bourgeois romance, and eloquence of heart, 
the tone of his sentiment is absolutely Richardsonian " (Freron). 

The case of Richardson and the English is all the more signi- 
ficant in that Rousseau and the other romanticists owe to them 
not only the plot of the bourgeois romance but also their way of 
treating human feeling. It is to them we owe the 1789 of 
letters which permitted the introduction of the poor and down- 
trodden, and the description of their sufferings and miseries, 
illuminated with rays of poetry and softened with tears of com- 
passion and human fraternity. 

What is more original and more essentially French than the 
genius of Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau, in spite of the influ- 
ence which moulded it? The whole skeleton of the Divine 
Comedy is found in the rhymed visions of the Friar Alberic of 
Mount Cassin, just as The Mencechmi of Plautus contains the 
subject of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors I And yet who 
would presume to doubt the originality of these two geniuses ! 

And Goethe ? Do we not find his influence in Taine, 
Renan and Paul Bourget? The Capitaine Fracasse of Th. 
Gautier, essentially French as it is, owes more for all that 
to Wilhelm Meister than to Scarron 1 


These characteristic examples explain how France has always 
been able to draw from foreign sources without losing anything 
of her own national genius. The more she is given to this 
exchange of ideas, the more she prospers intellectually. A 
kind of ideal comprehension always accompanies her methods 
of borrowing. In bringing in richness from abroad, she trans- 
forms and revalues it and then places it at the disposal of 

Thus all peoples are amalgamated in her, not only ethnically, 
but also and especially in an intellectual sense. 



FRANCE presents an invincible front against all the ex- 
aggerations of the anthropo-sociologists or anthropo-psycho- 
logists. Peoples, we are told, perish owing to mixture of 
races. But here is France, which has the honour of being, if 
not the first, yet at least one of the first peoples in the world, 
and which includes in its blood that of all other peoples 
and races. It is sufficient to trace the story of its historical 
evolution and to compare this with its present condition in 
order to perceive the incalculable benefits which ethnical and 
intellectual crossings procure for humanity. Let us try as 
briefly as possible to make this clear in a few pages of historical 

What in the first place is French mentality? It is the 
quintessence of civilisation and of universal progress enriched by 
the fruits of French genius, which is at the same time both 
comprehensive and creative. 

In the course of centuries France has become a kind 
of gigantic factory of ideas at the disposal of other countries 
and peoples. The original material comes sometimes from 
herself and sometimes from all other quarters. But what 
does it matter where it comes from ? Polished up " & la 
franchise " it goes round the world and feeds the civilised 
nations. Romanticism, which has revolutionised modern 
literature, forestalled by forty years the works of Chateaubriand 
through the pen of Young and his school. Nevertheless, 
romanticism only dates from France. The same applies to 


the conquests of the Revolution. England furnished us with a 
model, but that was only for her own personal advantage. 
France was able to make it a work for humanity ! 

The same remarks apply to the influence exercised on France 
by German, Italian and Spanish thought, and by that more 
recent thought of the Scandinavians and Russians. * 

A national mentality, like that of individuals, is all the more 
perfect when the elements which contribute to its perfection 
are numerous. 

The crossing of thought produces a still more beneficial effect 
than that of blood, in which respect France is also highly 
favoured. For, being the result of so many ethnical types, she 
has always had the germ of an innate sympathy for other 
peoples and races. The English love to speak of the Americans 
of the United States as their cousins. With how much more 
reason can France claim ties of blood and relationship of 
thought with the peoples of the two worlds ! They are all chained 
to her destinies not only biologically but also in the formation 
of their souls and mentalities. 

Wherefore instead of a communion on the grounds of similar 
cephalic index, or of Aryan, Gaulish and Latin origins, which 
are extravagant and doubtful principles, it is more worthy to 
lay claim to the great heritage of the French genius and of 
French thought. 

Moreover, what would be the advantage of a narrow nationalism 
founded on certain external bodily marks ? " Let everyone 
look about him," says Paul Broca, " or merely within his own 
family, and he will nearly always see eyes of different colours, 
white skins and brown skins, high, medium or low statures. 
The features of the face and the forms of the head also show but 
slight stability. This one has the features of the Celts, but not 
the colour. That one has the head of the Cimbri, but not 
the stature." 

The fact that so ardent an expert in the doctrine of races 
should make an avowal which destroys the reality of his theory 
even within the frontiers of his native land, shows that doubt is no 
longer permissible on this subject. The existence also of various 
types and the commingling of characteristic traits of races are 


met with in all our provinces, a fact which constitutes a perma- 
nent challenge thrown down by every Frenchman against the 
most sacred principles of the anthropological science and which 
gives him the value of a symbol. 

What is perceived to-day with regard to the French is also 
noticeable in all other Latin peoples. It is sufficient to study 
the formation of Italian, Spanish or Argentine mentality, in 
order to see that these also are connected with the progress of 
humanity in general and not exclusively with that of one of 
its branches. Moreover, such also will be the destiny of the 
civilised races of to-morrow, so much does the mixture of 
races tend to destroy their salient and distinctive traits. 

If only by its geographical situation, France seems to have 
been called to symbolise the civilised world. As the French 
people belong to all ethnical types, the soil of France presents 
a kind of synthesis of all climatic, agricultural and geological 
properties. And yet these diverse qualities are invariably resolved 
into a complete harmony. It has been observed more than 
once that even the richness of its geological strata corresponds 
with that of its surface. A manufacturing country, France is 
also agricultural. A mining country, it is also commercial. 
The harmonious rhythm of its configuration has at all times 
stirred the admiration of travellers and thinkers. 

Strabo about twenty centuries ago, with that enthusiasm which 
marked the Hellenic genius, wrote naively : " Such a happy 
disposition of places, arranged so as to resemble the work 
of an intelligent being rather than the effect of chance, is 
enough to prove the existence of Providence." It might be said 
that it was purposely chosen to be a vast anthropological 
laboratory. In this ideal crucible there have been blended 
the numerous physiological and psychological qualities of 
peoples. Its geographical unity has, on the other hand, con- 
tributed much to this work of internal pacification. 

The soil of France, so profoundly humanised according to 
the happy expression of one of her demographs, has from all 
time beneficially controlled the oscillations of her history. 
When a slow and cruel retrospect is made of the innumerable 
disorders which she has suffered in the past, and when these 


are contrasted with her present condition in the world, we 
cannot help thinking of these lines of Andre Chenier 

France, beautiful country, generous land 
Which the kindly gods destined to be happy 1 M 

The numerous elements which enter into the composition 
of the French people have also contributed to the triumph of 
the humane principle, making it victorious over racial restric- 
tions and physiological divisions. On the ruins of these 
levelled " differentiations " has been erected a " French type " 
admirable both morally and physically. It unites in itself 
numerous moral and intellectual gradations. It is not Aryan, 
nor Gaulish, nor Latin, but what is more than these. It is 

Throughout her long historic existence, France has been able 
to assimilate everything which came into her and also everything 
which was directed against her. Her constant and continued 
progress may be compared with those rivers which suddenly 
disappear and remain invisible under the ground, to reappear 
later on enriched by the hidden elements which they have 
gathered up in their invisible course. 

As we observe it to-day, the French nation is a living proof 
of the benefits of the interpenetration of peoples and of the un- 
limited commingling of their blood, intelligence, vices and 
virtues. In this beautiful union of human beings the horizon 
of French thought was fashioned and enlarged. 

We are not in any way the victims of an unblushing optimism. 
We acknowledge that France often seems to deviate from the 
broad way which has marked her ethnical past and the forma- 
tion of her intellectuality. From time to time specious 
saviours have arisen and have preached her their puny gospel 
of hatred at home and enmity abroad, sentiments, both of 
them, cruelly at variance with her proper destiny. Some there 
are, no doubt, not insignificant numerically, who have allowed 
themselves to be overpowered by the pestilent odours of the 
gutter. What matters it ? The civilisation of Hermopolis has 
never ceased to be admired because many of its inhabitants gave 
divine honours to greyhounds. We still continue to be enthusi- 
astic over that of Lycopolis or Sais, although we know that the 


citizens of the former prostrated themselves before wolves and 
those of the latter before sheep. 

After all, in spite of her momentary weaknesses, France always 
goes forward. Often, like an army exhausted by fatigue, she 
advances through dark nights in an almost lethargic condition. 
But the dawn always finds her fresh and valiant at the van of 
other peoples in their progressive work. 

Who would dare to deny that the qualities of goodness and 
justice and the level of the general conscience of modern France 
are not above those of fifty or a hundred years ago ? Her 
humanitarian ideals are in any case superior to those of neigh- 
bouring lands. The sympathy between social classes, which is 
an essential standard of progress, has become stronger and 
intenser. Add also the fact that the sentiment of solidarity 
between the French and the outer world has increased by 
several degrees ! 

To confine her origins of blood and thought to a single ethnical 
and intellectual element is to misunderstand, together with the 
significance of past centuries, the true greatness of France. It is 
also perhaps committing a sin against the dominant virtue of the 
formation of her people and of her genius. For the multiplicity of 
her ethnical and mental origins, which involves as logical 
sequence her understanding of the soul of the world and her 
faculty of directing it, is precisely the cause of her brilliant and 
exceptional position. 

Although weakened by the war of 1870, France has been able 
after thirty years to regain her place as the directing force of 
the world. 

Owing to her social genius she has succeeded in unifying 
the many diverse elements gathered together on her soil. 
The same genius which has made her beloved by other 
peoples, allows her in addition to accomplish her civilis- 
ing mission of creating the great Human Family as she 
has already created the great French Family. Never let us 
forget that among all nations it is still France which has the 
least ethnical prejudice and the most innate sentiment as to 
the equality of individuals notwithstanding the colour of their 
skin or their craniological differences. 

While "Yellow" writers are already proclaiming this French 



virtue, those of the " Black " peoples bless her and look to he 
for assistance in their social emancipation. 

Let us hope that she may realise this supreme desire 
voiced by one of her most glorious poets and the one who 
beet expresses her historic genius. "She will be" (he loved to 
say) " the heart and the brain of other peoples ! " 



ALL that we have said in the preceding chapter about France 
can be also applied to Germany. We have seen above that 
Germany is the more Gaulish in origin, whilst France, to say 
nothing of the many other ethnical elements which have con- 
tributed to her formation, deserves rather the name of a Germanic 
country. From the moment when we proceed to a concrete 
analysis of the different German States, we see in addition what 
an imposing part the Slav element has always played there. 
The Slavs and the Teutons, who appear to be so profoundly 
disunited and who never cease to fill the world with the noise 
of their quarrels and implacable hatred, are nevertheless very 
closely related. Nearly all the branches of the Slavs, like the 
Oborites, the Poles, the Servians, the Wends, &c., have settled 
in Germany, whilst numerous Germans have contributed in 
their turn to the formation of Slav peoples. Here also a con- 
tinual coming and going of peoples is noticeable from the most 
far-off times. Germany is so much more in the wrong to claim 
purity of blood, in that to her happiness and honour she has 
from all time benefited from foreign deposits, as considerable 
biologically as intellectually. " The German race," Waitz l tells 
us, " could not by its own forces arrive at a superior development, 
without impulse from outside and a cleavage with its own 
peculiar traditions." "All true Teutons," Nietzsche tells us, 
"went abroad. Modern Germany is an advanced station of 

1 Deutache Verfossungsgeschichte, ILL 


the Slav world and prepares the way for a Panslavic 
Europe." * 


We generally imagine that we have better knowledge of the 
origins of modem Italy. Consult its historians, and especially 
the glorious representatives of its letters, and they reply with 
serenity that they are descended in a direct line from great and 
illustrious Romans. Have we not seen an imperialist or rather 
a nationalist school founded quite recently in Florence, finding 
the ethnical origins of modern Italy in the patrician Quirites ? 
And yet the Longobards, Byzantines, Egyptians, Gauls, Greeks, 
Spaniards, Slavs, Normans, Angevins, Jews, Bretons, Saracens, 
Teutons, &c., have also mingled their blood with that of the 
other inhabitants of the peninsula. 

But were these last Romans, in the sense which we give to the 
word ? Not in any way. The few rays of light which anthropo- 
historical science has thrown on the darkness of the past have 
only destroyed all the accredited legends on this subject. 

Not to speak of the prehistoric, and therefore doubtful 
peoples, we see in Italy, at the dawn of the period accessible 
to science, two great branches of African peoples, viz., the 
Liburni and the SicanL They were checked in their continual 
invasions of Mediterranean lands by the Pelasgi and the 

Among the Pelasgi figure, among others, the Apulians, 
Japyges, Messapians, Peucetians, Opici, Oenotri and Argivi 
(who, according to Virgil, occupied the Palatine, one of the 
seven hills). What were all these tribes ? 

It would be very presumptuous to wish to solve the innumer- 
able mysteries which surround them. Let us be content 
merely with saying that these yield in nothing to the thick clouds 
which envelop the origin of the Liguro-Siculi. We note among 
their tribes the Taurini, the Siculi, the Itali, &c. 

Elsewhere, near the Adriatic, we see the Venetians, an equally 
mysterious tribe, and also the Umbrians, who during several 
centuries ruled in central Italy. 

1 The Oermaru and Civilisation. Fragments of a posthumous volume. 


According to some, these Umbrians were Celts; according 
to others, they belonged to the Ausonian branch. These 
Umbrians were in any case not Latins, for, according to the data 
of comparative grammar, their language is distinguished from 
the Latin by the formation of its words, by its construction and 
syntax, by its sound, and also by its flexion and termination. 

With the arrival of the Etruscans, the composition of the 
Italian blood becomes singularly still more complicated. They 
were called Raseua in Italy, and Livy tells us that they settled 
in Rhaetia at the time of the Gaulish invasion. In truth they 
finally spread themselves all over the peninsula. We see 
them at Ravenna, Modena, Bologna, on the coast of ancient 
Umbria, in the valleys of the Arno, and also in the environs of 
the Tiber. 

What were these Etruscans who were also called Etrusci or 
Tyrrheni, or just simply Tusci ? All sorts of origins are 
ascribed to them. Sometimes Slavs, Libyans, Celts or Lydians, 
they are also regarded as Hittites and Semites. D. Brinton 
brings many proofs to bear on the theory that the Etruscans were 
Africans, whereas d'Arbois de Jubainville speaks eloquently in 
favour of their Asiatic origin. According to many anthropologists 
(an opinion maintained by A. Lefevre among others) they had 
negroid features. In any case it was (already !) a race 
dreadfully mixed with nearly all the races on the earth. 

Philologists (M. Bre"al), on the grounds of their language, deny 
that the Etruscans had any affinity with the Indo-European 
peoples. It is true that it borrowed certain forms from Umbrian, 
Oscan and Latin, but in its endings one finds no trace of 
declension or conjugation, or anything which one might regard 
as belonging to a system of flexions. I 

In the matter of their cephalic index, we meet with the 
most opposed statements. They were dolichocephalic (63 per 
cent.) and brachycephalic (87 per cent.), so Nicolucci affirms 
with assurance; no, says Carl Vogt, they were simply sub- 
brachycephalic. Baer tells us, on the other hand, that they 
were pure dolichocephalic ; whilst Retzius says they were quite 
the contrary, being vulgar brachycephals. 

To this insoluble problem many others are joined. Scarcely 
had the Etruscans taken possession of Italy, when all sorts of 



so-called Gaulish peoples, including the Boii, the Senones, the 
Langres and many others, made a number of irruptions into it. 
They bring in their train a multitude of other nations, whom 
we have seen throwing themselves in like manner into France 
and Germany. Although we can affirm nothing positive in what 
concerns the dark origins of so many peoples and races, who 
contributed to the formation of the modern Italians, still we 
can draw a negative conclusion, namely that, strictly speak- 
ing, the Latins only played a quite inferior part in it. Let 
us remember on this subject that even the famous seven hills, 
whose territorial dimensions, as also their population, were 
insignificant when compared with the terribly mixed population 
of the whole of Italy at that period, were not in any way 
exclusively Latin. By the side of Pelasgic Argives, there were 
Etruscan Luceri, Sabini, &c. What remains, then, for the 
Latins ? 

Those Italians who are somewhat chagrined on this subject 
have only to contemplate the lot reserved for so many other 
races ! For all those who have in any way participated in the 
progress of civilisation, and who on that account have deserved 
the attention of historians, find themselves in the same 
situation. As soon as we discover their past, we are impressed 
by the imposing spectacle of the ethnical mixtures of all sorts 
which have contributed to their formation as a race or 
people, and which have never ceased co-operating to that 

The universal commingling, the mixture of all with all, seems 
to be the dominant law of their historical evolution. The first 
and the last in the scale of civilisation, nations great and small, 
enter, in this respect, within the limits of this essentially human 
law. Just as progress consists in the passing from the simple 
to the complex (from the homogeneity to the heterogeneity 
of Herbert Spencer), so the development of a people outside 
the incessant mixtures of its ethnical elements is not to be 
thought of. 


Let us turn to the prehistoric and historic ethnology of the 
peoples of Great Britain. Its isolated situation ought 


theoretically to have preserved it from many and repeated 
invasions of foreign elements ! But its past also furnishes 
matter for doubts which are not to be solved. It is sufficient to 
listen to the reasoning of the most authoritative ethnographers 
on the native peoples who were settled there before the Celts 
in order to understand the impossibility of arriving at a clear 
and decided conclusion. The race which Daniel Wilson 
christened Kymbekephalic and which Beddoe identifies with 
that of the Dead Man has left but few traces. We are told that 
it was distinguished by a long skull with an index of about 71 
in width. It preceded the race of bronze or that of round 
barrows, who resemble the men of Borreby in Denmark. 1 
What are all these peoples whose remains, found in dolmens, do 
not allow us to divine their origins or state of culture ? We 
know, on the other hand, that the blood of the inhabitants of 
Great Britain since the historic period presents as rich a mixture 
of divers elements as that of Germania and of Gaul. It would 
be necessary to repeat the diversified history of the first centuries 
after Christ, in order to show the variety of ethnical elements 
which have taken root there. It is enough to state with Beddoe 
that Mongoloid and African types appear, and with von Holder 
that we come across numerous Iberian and Sarmato- Germanic 
types. Let us take another no less significant example. 

What can be more radically opposed in appearance than the 
Poles and Lithuanians. Yet it was enough for proximity and 
historic evolution to intervene in order to amalgamate these 
most divergent ethnical elements. According to Sigismond 
Gloger, 2 the ancient tribes of Poland, viz. Poles, Mazovsians, 
Lechites, Zmoudzines, Dregovisians, Krivisians, Drevlanes, &c., 
once so dissimilar, present to-day anthropologically, as the result 
of their incessant crossings, a unique Polish-Lithuanian type ! 
" How can you find a pure type (asks the celebrated Polish ethno- 
logist) when to-day there is not a single man in Poland in whose 
veins does not flow the composite blood of so many divergent 
tribes who dwelt there ? " 

The ethnical composition of the Russian people has for 

1 Beddoe, Sur Vhistoire de I'indice cephalique en Angleterre. See also hia 
Saces of Great Britain. 
8 Album etnograjiezne Glogera. See also his EncyMopedya Staropolska. 

T 2 


centuries exercised the fancy and learning of demographists and 
anthropologists. Are the Russians Mongols, Slavs, Aryans, 
Sarmatians, Teutons, Tartars, or a disparate mixture of peoples ? 
All these doctrines have had author! tative representatives who, 
with an unheard-of wealth of arguments, plead in favour of 
their respective theories. Whereas Duchinski only sees Mongols 
in the Russians, and Sickerski the purest of Aryans, Fouillee 
mentions forty-six non-Aryan peoples who have entered into 
the ethnical composition of the Russians. Even among the 
partisans of the mixed blood of Russians some speak of their 
Finno-Mongol composition, whilst others bring out in succes- 
sion the honour, or the dishonour, for the Russian blood of being 
merely a Slavo-Finno-Tartar mixture (A. Leroy-Beaulieu) ; 
Ugro-Finnish, as much as Slav (Penka); Celto-Slav, Slav- 
Norman (Le*ger), &c., &c. 

The same cacophony breaks out in characterising the Russian 
skull. Sometimes it is presented to us as brachycephalic 
with a mixture of dolichocephalic and mesocephalic, or pure 

Nevertheless, when, delivered from all preconceived doctrines, 
we survey the history of the formation of the Russian people in 
its true aspect, we also perceive here the triumph of universal 

In the first place we must note that the ancient Normans, who 
contributed to the formation of other great European peoples, 
likewise aided in the creation of the Russian State. Its name, 
moreover, only comes from a Norman tribe, the Eous, who 
arrived at Novgorod with their chief Rurik (862), just as that of 
France is derived from another Norman tribe,the Franks,and that 
of Allemagne (Germany) from the Allemans, and that of England 
from the Angles. But Russia long before the arrival of the 
Normans shows, like other countries, a mixture of peoples 
and races who met there and intermingled as everywhere else. 
When archaeology brings us the fruit of its arduous studies in 
the Kourganes (funeral monuments which are found in the form 
of artificial hills in the south and centre of Russia), we notice 
there, above everything else, an extraordinary mixture of cranial 
types. The anthropologists, condemned to see here characteristic 
signs of races, must in this way bend before the fact of racial 


diversity on Russian ground. R. Weinberg, 1 in taking his stand 
on the study of about 7,000 measurements made in different 
parts of Russia, proves the extreme variety of types. The 
crushing majority, however, of the population in Russia is 
brachycephalic as in the other parts of Europe. M. Weinberg, 
moreover, makes singular avowals. He states, for example, 
that in the governments of the south of Russia, where the 
distribution of cranial types ought to be fairly uniform, one 
meets with the most considerable digressions. It is thus that 
in the governments of Kief, Kharkoff, and that of Poltava 
the percentage of dolichocephals was from 1J to 20 per cent. 

Another Russian anthropologist, A. A. Ivanovsky, in his 
" Anthropological Examination of the Russian Population," tells 
us in his turn that the brachycephalic number 64 per cent, among 
the white Russians, and 72 per cent, among the Great and the 
Little Russians. In other words, the ethnical agglomerations con- 
sidered in Russia to represent racial unities are reduced to a sort 
of craniological uniformity. In Russia, therefore, as everywhere 
else the different parts of the population are not to be distin- 
guished by their physiological composition, but by the aspirations 
of their souls and the diversity of intellectual, moral, social and 
political interests. Between Russian officials of St. Petersburg, 
Moscow or Warsaw, connected with the form of autocratic govern- 
ment, there is no doubt more resemblance, in spite of their Polish, 
Finnish, Tartar or Slav origins, than between two Great 
Russians who have received an opposite education and show 
totally different mentalities. 

Between the appearance of a free man and that of a slave 
the difference is, in short, much more striking and more essential 
than between all the craniological variations which anthropology 
could establish from their comparison. 

1 Jiassen und Herkunft dea Rusaischen Volkea (Pol. Anthrop. Revue, 
Nov. 1904). Let our readers remember the reserve with which anthropo- 
logical measurements must be accepted. 



We are apparently more agreed on the history of Jewish 
anthropology, and yet the conquests of Hebraists have proved 
that even in this domain our science is only supreme ignorance ! 

What is this Jewish race whose name has been heard for so 
many centuries and which, from time immemorial, has exercised 
the curiosity of politicians, philosophers and historians ? What 
we know of it to-day is limited to the almost certain fact that 
it is not a matter of race, but of religion. The Jews, who 
are far from constituting a race in our day, are not even 
justified in claiming that privilege in the past. When they 
arrived, few in number, in Palestine a dozen centuries before 
Christ, they found there all sorts of peoples and races, viz., 
Hittites, Arabs, Philistines, &c., with whom they finally blended. 
Dispersed after the time of Alexander, they never ceased making 
proselytes. On this subject let us recall the conversion " en 
bloc" of a whole Turkish tribe (the Chazars). Scattered 
throughout the whole world, they mingled in the life of other 
nations and underwent, not only the influence of milieux, but 
also those of crossings. They finally gave their blood to all 
peoples and received theirs in exchange. 

To-day the most rigorous anthropologists acknowledge that 
there is no Jewish type, but rather Jewish types proper to 
Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain, France, &c. In all countries, 
we are told, the marked characteristics which distinguish them 
from their environment are reduced to their political and social 
position. When the barriers which separate them from other 
co-inhabitants disappear, the Jews come at last to resemble 
more and more both intellectually and biologically their im- 
mediate surroundings. 

Let us take another example as it comes. The Japanese 
have been considered as the brothers of the Chinese. In this 
quality they have even furnished Europe with a bogey as to her 
immediate future, under the form of the " Yellow Peril." Their 
origin has never been a subject of doubt in the past. But now, 
having entered within the pale of white civilisation, they excite 
greater curiosity on the part of savants, who try to lift some of 


the clouds which hide their impenetrable past. Suddenly 
their yellow origin has become a disputed matter. Certain 
distinguished ethnologists even connect them with the Turko- 
Tartar families. 1 

But, really, we know nothing of it, just as we know nothing 
of the Chinese race itself. 

The more we study the beginnings of races on the earth, the 
more we perceive the absolute impossibility of obtaining light 
on their origins. According to Kenan's justifiable complaint, we 
are in the wrong to apply our habitual methods to periods 
" wherein rivers have sons and mountains give birth." 

The truth is that we know nothing of their prehistoric phases 
and very little of that which preceded the fusion of peoples 
and of races. What we know, on the other hand, after a more or 
less certain fashion, is that the primitive Aryan, the primitive 
Turanian, and the primitive Semitic groups had no physiological 

At the time when we perceive the formation of modern 
peoples, it is still more noticeable that ethnographical and 
anthropological considerations had no place in it. States, as 
they exist in our days, were formed in spite of the ethnical 
origins of their inhabitants and even in opposition to them. 

Historical anthropology having already furnished us with 
negative lights, we remain stupefied before the amount of child- 
ishness and ignorance necessary for pretended savants in order 
to preach hatred between races amalgamated for centuries. 

We do not intend to show the mistakes made with regard to 
all these peoples and races. It is enough for us to note certain 
obvious errors, with the object of demonstrating the lack of 
prudence which characterises the generalisations habitual to 
the sociologists and psychologists of ethnical collectivities. 

A singular coincidence is that the more a people or a race 
appears to be known, the less exact are our ideas on its ethnical 

1 See on this subject the curious work of Dr. E. Neumann, Vom goldenen 
Horn zum Euphrat. The author, a Munich professor, was for a long time a 
director of the Geological Institute of Japan. He notes numerous links of 
relationship between the tongues and mentalities of the two peoples, 



past Our ignorance grows as the direct consequence of the 
efforts made to elucidate the past. This means to say that true 
science touches on total ignorance. Let us console ourselves, 
however, with the thought of this maxim of Pascal : " It is true 
that it is miserable to know that we are miserable, but it is also 
great to know our misery. This makes us great lords ! " 

Science can proclaim with pride her reasoned ignorance of the 
composition of peoples and races, just as she can the absolute 
impossibility of grouping them in irreducible partitions. Her 
laborious efforts, however, have not been in vain. Having 
established the mixture of races as a law, and their age-long 
and continued interfusion as a general rule, she can easily 
remain content with her inability to gauge their consecutive 
elements. She has done something more in rendering impossible 
and laughable, anthropologically, the notion of pure races, as 
also that of inferior and superior blood. 

But has this classification of human beings, which is 
biologically and physiologically ephemeral, any chance of 
success, intellectually and psychologically ? 





AMONG the most decisive arguments which the partisans of 
human inequality oppose to their adversaries, the place of 
honour belongs to those drawn from the life and the evolution 
of Negroes. One might say that Nature only created them to 
serve as a dolorous proof of the impassable gulfs which separate 
the different members of our species. With the ineffaceable 
impress of colour and many other physiological stains, they are 
predestined, especially by their moral and intellectual faults, to 
remain in the bottom ranks of humanity. " A race which holds 
the middle place between man and monkey," according to some. 
According to others, it is even declared to be " below animals," 
for these at least do not desire to rob the White man of 
his privileged place under the sun ! Savage in Africa, they 
remain savage, we are told, even in the United States, where 
they show the propensities of gorillas towards white women, 
or the unconscious instincts of thieving rooks. The repugnance 
with which they inspire the Whites is greater than that which 
most animals provoke. They are approached with disgust. In 
railway compartments and in hotels reserved for the Whites, 
dogs and parrots are admitted, but men of colour are unmerci- 
fully driven away. Everything seems to separate them from 
their White surroundings their physiological characteristics, 
declared fixed and immutable throughout all time; their 
mentality, considered inferior ; their morals, which we are told 
are deplorable ; and, lastly, their animal propensities, which, 
always alive, wake at the first call of their sub-human instincts. 
Like the Gibeonites of the Scriptures, American writers tell us. 


they were created to hew wood and draw water for white men. 
To wish to prove their equality with other mortals is a defiance 
of the Supreme will, so say the white bishops of the South. 
Mr. Charles Carroll, the author of the work, The Negro is a 
Bout, or In the Image of God, points out by texts drawn from 
the Bible that the Negro is a beast, created with an articu- 
late tongue and hands, in order that he may serve his white 
master. 1 To bear out his theory, the author quotes among 
other things this proof, viz., that man has been created in the 
image of God, but God not being a Negro, as everyone knows, it 
follows that the Negro is not in the image of God, and therefore 
he is not a man. Teachers of the greatest repute, even those 
who are called to form and direct the American soul, try to incul- 
cate this thought, that no instruction or education can take away 
from the Negro conscience its ineffaceable mark of inferiority. 
Judge Tilman, again, in his little work on the Plant System, 
brings forward, in favour of the general prejudice, this pious ar- 
gument, that " He who at the dawn of creation placed moving 
sands as barriers to the impetuous waves, saying, ' Here is your 
limit I ' placed also and forever his seal on the Negro in his black 
skin, woolly hair, thick lips, snub nose, and anatomy differing 
from that of a white man. His limited intelligence is an- 
nounced in this prophecy made thousands of years ago, no less 
true to-day than then Thou shalt le the Slave of Slaves ! " 

Thus in the Negroes we have the true type of human in- 
feriority 1 Let us study it closer, to see what truth there 
may be in this conception of the most degraded race. 

I. Physiological Characteristics 

In examining the question of long and narrow skulls, hair, 
colour of skin, Negro odour, &c., we have discussed the different 
traits which rouse objections against the Blacks. In the light 
of impartial observation, the fundamental and immutable quali- 
ties of Negro physiology undergo perceptible modifications. 

1 Quotation borrowed from the remarkable work of M. Urbain Gohier on 
the Peuple rfw X Xe. riecle (i.e., the American people, whom the author deala 
with tocially, politically, educationally, &c. 


The Negroes only confirm this general rule, that everything 
which divides humanity is not immutable. 

This incessant transition of different characteristics prevents 
the human species from degenerating into a number of fixed 
types. Negroes, whom it is desired to regard as forming a 
separate human species, tend, like other human beings, to 
become similar to other human races when they are subjected 
to similar conditions of physical and mental milieu. 

Their resemblance to the Whites in the United States baffles 
every artifice resorted to in order to recognise them. We even 
have at the present time numerous American novels, the tragic 
plot of which is based on the entrde of " perfected " negroes into 
the life of the Whites. 1 But in truth can one regard these 
brilliant specimens of the evolution of races as true negroes ? 
This identification of Whites and Negroes goes very far, as is 
proved by the curious example quoted by John S. Durham 
(Atlantic Monthly, vol. 81). Two brothers (coloured), printers 
by trade, came to Philadelphia a few years ago to look for 
work. The one entered a printing-house where none but white 
men worked, and became foreman. At the end of two years, a 
workman became acquainted with the fact of his colour and de- 
nounced him. The Whites immediately sent a delegation to the 
proprietor demanding that the coloured man should be imme- 
diately dismissed. The proprietor, although appreciating the merit 
of his foreman, informed him of the cruel necessity which com- 
pelled him to give way to the remonstrances of his subordinates. 

The unhappy " Negro " asked him as a favour to accept his 
brother in his place. " In that way," said he, " I shall be able to 
live on his wages as he has lived on mine." It was done. The 
workmen, ignorant of the origin of their new foreman, worked 
under him for a long time, until the fact was discovered. 

1 Among others we note the novel of Mrs. Gertrude Atherton, Senator 
North. A rich Southern heiress, Miss Madison, receives under her roof her 
young sister, the offspring of a liaison of her father with a coloured woman. 
Nothing in the newcomer betrays her origin, so that Harriet Walker easily 
passes for a white woman. Astonished at her beaut}', Miss Madison exclaims, 
"You will be happy. I will make you forget everything!" But Harriet 
answers, with a despairing glance, "Not everything, for somewhere in me, 
hidden but present, is a black vein swollen with the blood of slaves." This 
is an allusion to her finger nails. A white man, however, falls in love with 
her, and as no one in her circle of acquaintances has recognised her degraded 
origin, she marries Him. The tragedy only breaks out when Harriet herself 
undertakes to inform her husband of " her hereditary stain." 


This is how Mr. Durham concludes : " The first of the two 
brothers gave up the struggle in despair. He fled into a 
vaster world, viz., that of the Whites, who, ignorant of his origin, 
allowed him to live their life and to enjoy all the privileges 
which in the United States are reserved for Whites alone." 

Booker Washington dwells pleasantly on the embarrassments 
of railway guards in the United States. " Is such a traveller a 
Negro or is he not ? " so the perplexed employees often ask 
themselves. If he is, he must be made to enter the compart- 
ment reserved for people of colour. But if he is not, and if one 
undertakes to assign him a place which is considered humiliat- 
ing for the Whites, what a responsibility ! 

The American tribunals have had to judge cases in which 
Southern European women, who had been taken for coloured 
women and compelled to enter the special Negro carriages, have 
demanded and obtained heavy indemnities. 

M. Jules Huret, in the interesting souvenirs of his travels, 
En Amtrique, tells us the same thing with regard to the transfor- 
mation of the Negro type. After a close observation of the pupils 
of the Tuskegee Institute, he states that not one of the 1,400 
young people who receive their education under Booker Wash- 
ington carries any longer the stigma of slavery. Besides the 
quite pure offspring of Soudanese Negroes we have the most 
finished types of the human race, figures of " amber tinted 
women with delicate and almost haughty profile, eyes ardent, 
melancholy, and as though bathed in liquid mother-of-pearl, 
lips just full enough to denote sensitiveness, chin raised with 
a gracious curve, noble oval face, figure delicate and supple, 
hand small and distinguished." Now, all these women are 
merely quadroon and octoroon negresses of Jamaica, Porto 
Rico, and other parts of the globe. This Parisian, free from 
all prejudice of race, concludes with justice that in France 
and in Europe all these women would be surrounded with the 
praises of men, whereas in the Southern States they are penned 
up like lepers in special schools, special railway carriages, and 
special hotels. 

Mrs. Mary Church Terrell, the honorary President of the large 
" Association of Coloured Women," confirmed in my hearing this 
frequent impossibility of distinguishing Whites from Negroes. 


She herself, belonging to the most beautiful Southern type, 
can both travel as she likes in railway carriages reserved for 
Whites, and also enter their hotels. And yet, as she told me 
with her pleasant smile, " My parents were slaves, and, like 
so many others of my brothers and sisters, I only owe my 
liberty to the War of Secession." She personally could have 
lived among the Whites, if she had not preferred to fulfil her 
duty towards her unhappy and humiliated sisters. The 
number of coloured men and women mixed with the Whites 
and participating without hindrance in their ordinary life is 
incalculable. If ever thewhite portion could fall from the face 
of those who have no right to it in the Southern States, their 
social life would be singularly revolutionised. And not without 
cause. The influence of the milieu, including cross-breeding 
with the Whites, has effected radical modifications. 

At the present time it is a vain task to seek distinctive 
characteristics among certain products of Negroes crossed with 
Whites. Dr. Pearce Kintzing, who has devoted several years 
of his life to the study of this question, mentions the same fact 
in American Medicine (July 1904). 

He tells us we can no longer find means of distinguishing 
mixed blood from white blood, except in American novels. 
In real life everything deceives us, including the colour of the 
nails, which, according to certain lady novelists of the South, is 
so infallible. In order to dissipate all illusions, Dr. Kintzing 
for three years submitted to close examination 500 patients 
from among the Whites and the Blacks. The students were 
called to decide as to the origin of the subject, who was 
completely covered excepting the nails. But the errors were so 
obvious and so frequent that Dr. Kintzing finally rejected the 
nails as a characteristic sign. Other significant traits deceive 
us in a like manner. The same author quotes cases of coloured 
children in the hospital who were entered as Whites. 

The persecution and injustice of the Whites, however, continue 
their work. Worried and despised, the " Blacks," including even 
those who have ceased to be such, become more and more united, 
and constitute a kind of State within a State. The humiliations 
suffered by them all in common hasten this unifying process. 
It may be said that the Negroes are being driven back upon 


themselves, whilst the present miseries of their existence are 
impeding the process of their moral and intellectual liberation. 

Everything in the meantime permits us to believe that this is 
an arrest of a somewhat sentimental nature. The Negroes, 
far from being discouraged, resume their efforts, and are working 
valiantly for the emancipation of their thought and their persons. 
The school of sorrow is the best of schools. It has been proved 
by nearly all people (and one observes the same phenomenon 
among individuals regarded singly) that adversity and privation 
only quicken and develop the intellectual faculties and ameliorate 
the moral life. The Negroes, always in the school of misfor- 
tune, become more moral and more enlightened, more rich and 
more independent. Their physiological progress (!), to use 
anthropological language, being aided by their intellectual 
progress, an impartial observer can already foresee the time, 
not too far distant, when the two hostile races shall arrive at 
understanding and unity. 

The psychology of primitive peoples, and especially of 
Negroes, strangely resembles that of the uncultured classes 
of Europe. The inhabitants of a Negro village in Central 
Africa are like peasants living far from railways in the 
extreme north of Russia or the extreme south of Italy. 
Travellers who go among the Negroes without preconceived 
ideas notice the narrowness of their minds, their strongly 
accentuated misoneismc, the littleness of their daily preoccu- 
pations, and their love of noisy knick-knacks. The women 
gossip, get jealous, and quarrel. The men fight and envy each 
other, whilst the children grow up anyhow under the tender 
eyes of their mothers and the indifference of their fathers. A 
similar state of things is also met with among trading Negroes. 
The Negro palavers themselves are in certain respects 
strikingly like the communal assemblies of villages in out- 
lying parts of the Old World. 

Whilst showing virtues and vices common to other men, the 
Negro, living closer to nature, has certain sides of his character 
more accentuated and certain others less so than those which 
characterise White populations. African Negroes resemble one 
another much more than the White population of Europe. 
The process of the differentiation of individuals, which is effected 


under the influence of the innumerable factors of culture, has 
scarcely as yet touched the Negro soul, which from this cause has 
remained more whole, more one. But in following their 
evolution in the United States, we see how that, when exposed 
to the action of the factors which have fashioned the soul of the 
Whites, the same stupid Negro, careless and often even cannibal, 
assimilates the mentality and the intellectual conceptions of 
the latter. 

Cannibalism is often but the result of the cult of ancestors 
wrongly understood. They are killed and eaten in order that 
their family virtues may be preserved. All explorers are at one 
in marking the disappearance of this custom through the 
influence of more civilised tribes. The contempt with which 
these last regard cannibals causes their number to diminish 
rapidly. The moment is close at hand when cannibalism 
shall have completely vanished from the earth. 



IT is fruitless to maintain the theory of the mental inferiority 
of Negroes, and the consequent impossibility of civilising 

Everything which explorers tell us of their life in general, 
even of that of the primitive Negroes of Central Africa, furnishes 
us with proofs to the contrary. Let us not forget that it would 
be thoroughly unjust to measure their psychological life and 
moral aspirations by the standard of peoples who have behind 
them centuries of civilisation and intellectual progress. Those 
who undertake to compare the mentality of European peasants 
with that of the White dite, would no doubt find between them 
a much greater gulf than between these same peasants and the 
Blacks of Central Africa. Their prepossessions, ideas, and 
superstitions betray a similarity which draws them singularly 
together. This resemblance becomes still more striking when 
we compare Negroes and peasants living in an analogous milieu. 
The men of the forest (the Pahouin) are radically distinct from the 
Negroes of the valley. The numerous works of M. Cureau, who, 
as chief administrator of the French Colonies, had the opportunity 
of studying the Negro soul during many years, teach us how the 
milieu and occupation succeed in fashioning primitive mentality 
and mode of life. Whereas the Pahouin coming out of his 
gloomy coppice and mixing with other men resembles the bat 
blinded by light, the m'i of the plains and of the great rivers is 
frank, gay, and exuber nt. 

The first is anxiou r and suspicious ; he dreams only of return- 
ing beneath his somore covert in the sad and melancholy woods. 
The second, ready to mix with new-comers, receives them with 


open arms as long as such new-comers do not abuse his con- 
fidence. Nay, his gentleness and hospitality surpass those of the 
popular classes in Europe. It is enough to examine his inti- 
mate life more closely to see how many common traits connect 
it with that of the Whites. The women love their little ones 
with the same tenderness and the same abnegation as those of 
Europe, whilst the fathers are similarly less tender. " If a mother 
passes through a village with her little one, a traveller tells us, 
all the others will come and take the child, hold it in their arms, 
lift it up, and make it jump ! A cannibal who has just been 
enjoying a piece of human flesh is quite as capable of doing 
this as the most sensitive of our civilised folk." 

Cannibalism itself does not there present such repulsive sides 
as are generally represented to us. It nowhere constitutes an 
instinct or an innate desire, but a simple custom. Those who 
practise it on a large scale are not on that account less sym- 
pathetic even with Europeans. " They are gentle, light-hearted, 
and have agreeable relations with their friends. To eat the 
bodies of their enemies seems to them as natural as an auto- 
da-fe of heretics would have seemed to a peaceful citizen of 
the sixteenth century." 1 

Cannibalism considered from this point of view is only a 
peculiar kind of warfare or the extension of the hunt for human 
prey. Let us acknowledge, however, that the civilised eat their 
neighbour in a much more cruel way, though no doubt with 
greater formality. An exploiting patron of the poor classes, or 
a financier who owing to his dishonest operations ruins 
thousands of families and is often the cause of numerous 
suicides, has on his conscience more victims than a whole tribe 
of cannibals. 

We remember this sally of John C. Calhoun : " If I could find 
a Negro who knew Greek syntax, I would believe that the 
Negro was a human being and ought to be treated as a man." 
This happened in 1834, when the Senator of South Carolina 
was able with impunity to promise the Negroes his special 
consideration on impossible conditions. As the most severe 
punishments were meted out to any person who undertook to 

1 Dr. Cureau, Psychologic de races negres de VAfrique tropicale. Rtvue 
Gtnerale dvt Sciences, 1904, Nos. 14 and 15. 

U 2 


teach the alphabet to a coloured child, it was improbable that 
any Negro would comprehend the tongue of Homer and Plato. 

Negro education is of quite recent date. Before the War of 
Secession the instruction of the Blacks was formally interdicted 
in the Slave States. 1 

Persons accused of having violated this law were liable to be 
imprisoned or whipped. The first school for Negroes was 
founded at New York in 1704 by a Frenchman, Elias Neau. 
He brought together, with the permission of slave masters and 
at the cost of great personal efforts, about 200 children. Neau 
taught for nothing, regarding duty done to these unfortunate 
children as its own reward. The example given by this noble 
Frenchman was afterwards followed in the Northern States by 
many beneficent societies. In the South the hostile feelings 
directed against the education of the Negroes persisted up to 
the time of the War of Secession. 

It is thus that in Carolina alone there were, in 1874, 200 
Negro judges who did not know how to read or write. The 
same fact applies to the members of the School Commission, who, 
illiterate as they were, presided over the destinies of the schools. 
The majority of the Negro senators, Andrews tells us, during 
the eight years' reconstruction of the Southern States which 
immediately followed the war, were unable to write three lines. 
Some did not even know how to read, and yet these were re- 
cruited from among the Negro ilitt. 

The instruction of the Blacks only began with the war of 
liberation. Under the supervision of Northern officials, schools 
were founded where Negroes might receive primary instruction. 
They were military schools of a special kind, giving lessons in 
citizenship instead of superior instruction in the art of killing 
one's neighbours. In the space of a year (1863-1864) General 
Banks succeeded in establishing in Louisiana ninety-five schools, 
with 162 masters and 9571 pupils. General Howard states in 
his report of January 1st, 1866, that there were already in the 
South 740 schools, with more than 1300 masters and 90,500 

1 See on this subject : L' Education des Negres aux Etats- Unis, by Kate 
Brousseau ; G. W. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America ; E. B. 
Andrews, Last Quarter of Century in the United States ; Meriwether, History 
of Higher Education in South Carolina ; Booker T. Washington, The Future 
of the American Negro ; Up from Slavery, 4c. , &c. 


pupils. This is the real beginning of Negro civilisation ! It 
only happened forty years ago, from which about ten years should 
be subtracted, inasmuch as Negro instruction, far from meeting 
with ardent sympathy, was for a long time subjected to all sorts 
of persecutions. The impediments placed before the work of 
education by the fanatics of the South and by want of 
judgment on the part of the legislators of the North, caused 
irreparable harm. On the other hand, Negroes, deceived by 
their illusions on the subject of a liberal education, came to 
regard instruction with aversion. The Negro masses could 
only have a great contempt for an education which only 
served to make them more despicable and wretched. 
The unbridled ambition of these children of nature suffered 
cruelly in their contact with life and its mortifications. Their 
pride was wounded by the jests of the Whites and by their 
own unsatiated hunger. As all doors were closed to them 
they became subject to criminal temptations. In pointing to 
the results without seeking the causes, the best-intentioned 
Whites began to doubt the morality and intellectual capacity 
of coloured folks. It became the fashion to speak of their 
innate evil instincts, and of their inability to assimilate real 
White civilisation. The hatred of their enemies and the 
impatience of their friends had mournful consequences. Both 
the one and the other forgot this elementary truth, that the 
delay of a moral reaction is at least proportional to the duration 
of the original evil. The ill-omened work of centuries cannot 
be wiped out by the influence of a few years of justice. 

Let us remember, therefore, in the first place, that during a 
very long period the schools in the South lacked masters. 
Professors refused to teach there, for fear of being despised and 
hated by their fellow citizens. It became necessary to approach 
the people of the North. These replied to the appeal with 
the ardour and faith of true missionaries. People went to 
instruct in the South as they went to convert savages in 
Central Africa. 

Contact with the prejudices of the Whites, however, was 
exceedingly dangerous, for their reception was more hostile and 
their hatred more implacable than that of savages. The White 
professors of both sexes who came from the North were banned 


by society. They were regarded with disgust and shunned like 
people infected with the plague. A pastor of Georgia declared, 
in a reply to a commission of inquiry, " I know nothing of those 
females from the North who have come to teach in our coloured 
schools. I have never spoken to one of them. They are rigor- 
ously excluded from society " (K. Brousseau). The professors, 
discouraged, took refuge in the North, abandoning their schools. 
Teaching was thus often interrupted. If scorn and innumerable 
petty artifices did not suffice to deter masters from their duty, 
violence was resorted to. Schools were burnt, at the risk of 
destroying both the accursed buildings and their evil genii, 
the teachers. If these attempts failed, they did not hesitate at 
nocturnal attacks. White teachers, male and female, were often 
beaten and whipped. 

In these resorts to intimidation or violence, numerous secret 
societies were particularly prominent, of which the Ku Klux 
Klan was the most formidable. It was founded in 1866 in the 
State of Tennessee, in order to hinder negro electors at the 
ballot-box and to forbid coloured people from attending elective 
functions. In burlesque disguises the members of the Klan 
entered the huts of Negroes, and tried to terrify their imagi- 
nation by means of divers extravagant ceremonies. Sometimes, 
with a bag on the arm in the shape of a heart, they proclaimed 
in a loud voice that they were carrying the flesh of a fried 
nigger. At other times, wearing india-rubber stomachs, they 
astonished Negroes by drinking bucketfuls of water. But in 
addition to these puerilities they were also given to downright 
murders. They paraded about in bands, wearing horrible masks 
and white robes, and throwing themselves on the Negroes, whom 
they crippled or beat for the least fault. The Whites who were 
accused of conniving with the Negroes, and especially the 
teachers, both male and female, suffered the same fate. In this 
way the members of the Ku Klux Klan succeeded in closing the 
numerous schools in the State of Mississippi. The Governor, R. C. 
Powers, even announced this monstrous fact at the Congress, that 
for eight months no Negro school had been tolerated in the 
county of Winston, and that all the houses which had served as 
schools save one had been burnt down (Andrews). The other 
Slave States were in the same predicament. In Georgia, for 


example, there was in 1871 a great number of localities where 
no school for people of colour was tolerated. The burning of 
schools and churches was very frequent. 

The persecution of schools was prolonged for a number of 
years. The Whites ostensibly showed greater sympathy towards 
illiterate Negroes than to those who had had the misfortune to 
pass through the schools. Nevertheless, in spite of all these 
obstacles, Negroes have succeeded in realising a progress which 
is altogether astounding. 

Towards 1899 the position of people of colour in the United 
States, according to the llth census and other administrative 
documents, was as follows: There were only 8 per 1,000 
destitutes among the Negroes. The Whites show as many, 
but these last had 64 rich for 1 rich Negro. Of 100 proprietors 
there were 75 Whites for 25 Blacks, but proportionately the 
latter should not have exceeded 12 or 13. Of 100 Negro houses, 
87 were free from all mortgage, whilst of 100 houses belonging 
to Whites there were only 71 such. 

The value of 130,000 Negro farms represented in round 
numbers 2,000 million francs (80,000,000), that of their churches 
about 1,190 millions (47,000,000), that of 150,000 landed 
estates, excluding farms, about 70,000,000, whilst their 
movable property amounted to about 32,000,000. What is 
more significant is that four-fifths of the work done in the 
South was done by Negro labour. 

In his inaugural address in April, 1904, Mr. John Gordon, 
President of the Howard University, stated that this university 
" of colour " had in the thirty-seven years of its existence con- 
ferred university degrees on more than 2,000 students, of whom 
200 were pastors, 700 doctors, 200 solicitors, &c. 

The Fisk University in 1900 could account for 400 diplomas 
of colour, of which 17 were doctors, 9 lawyers, 46 headmasters 
of schools, 165 teachers, and 19 ministers of religion. The 
same applies to the thirty-six other universities, which all do 
their utmost to elevate the Negroes. It must be stated, how- 
ever, that the general level, with the exception of Howard, is 
much inferior to that of White universities. Owing to lack of 
resources, they were obliged to be satisfied with less capable 
masters, poor laboratories, and a rudimentary organisation. But 


owing to the enthusiasm and zeal of professors, their instruc- 
tion gives very satisfactory results. Coloured women, unwilling 
to be behind their brothers and husbands, contend advan- 
tageously with them in the sphere of higher education. Nearly 
all the Negro universities open their doors to women, and 
accord to them equal treatment in what concerns studies 
and official diplomas. We lack data for the period which 
follows the year 1898, in which the feminist movement made 
the most considerable progress, but it is sufficient to note that 
up to that time the United States already counted 82 women 
of colour who had obtained university degrees in the North 
and 170 in the universities of the South. 

These brilliant results have been acquired in a short time. 
Certain writers of the North have raised objections against the 
Southern Negroes for having spent 250 million francs, since the 
time of their emancipation, for purposes of education. This 
sum is astonishing for its very moderation. According to 
Kelly Miller, the city of New York spends as much every two 
years. The Negroes, however, number 10,000,000, cover an 
immense territory, while the statement applies to a period of 
forty years. With reason does Booker Washington insist on the 
poverty of schools of colour. We are told that about 100 francs 
is spent on each child in the States of New York and Massa- 
chussetts, and only 2 francs 50 in the South. He mentions 
certain schools in the South where neither the State nor the 
public authorities possess a pennyworth of scholastic materials, 
school, black board, or pencil. In the State of Georgia 200,000 
Negro children have not been able to enter any school ! 

The disillusions which came to poor coloured graduates 
through their unfruitful diplomas created among the Negroes 
an admirable movement in favour of industrial schools. Those of 
Hampton and that more recent one of Tuskegee are real models 
of the kind, worthy of imitation by the Whites. This last con- 
tains to-day about 50 buildings, of which 47 have been built 
by the hands of the scholars, and also 2,500 acres of ground 
tilled by the same hands. The teaching body is composed 
of 112 professors, teachers, &c. During the year 1901, 1,324 
were taught 28 different industries. For the immense building 
raised in 1901, 800,000 bricks were necessary, which were all 


manufactured by the students of Tuskegee. The plaster, 
masonry, wood-work, painting, lead-roofing in a word, all the 
supplies, including electricity were done by the pupils on 
the premises. The machines, of which one was of 125 horse- 
power, were also installed by students. When the latter have 
not sufficient to pay for their schooling (about 400 francs per 
year), they work in the day, and the money they earn is 
devoted to the free schools in the evening. Owing to the 
Slater foundation, a number of other professional schools have 
been established, where, besides special instruction, the attempt 
is made to give pupils a general instruction. 

Great activity has also been shown in the world of women. 
Together with agriculture, they are taught the best way of pro- 
fitably managing dairies and farmyards. Coloured women in 
this way work for the regeneration of their sisters. Their work 
and spirit of initiative is enormous. They have formed a nucleus 
of " farming societies," societies for village improvements, &c., 
which exercise a great educating influence. 

If we would talk of the creative faculty of the Negro it would 
be necessary to mention their numerous poets, novelists, savants, 
engineers, and inventors, like Paul Lawrence Dunbar (the Negro 
Victor Hugo) ; Kelly Miller, the mathematician ; Dr. Blyden, lin- 
guist ; Booker Washington, the genial schoolmaster and a public 
man of the first order ; du Bois, political writer and historian, &c. 
To see with what difficulties the Negro litterateiirs have had to 
struggle, let us remember that Dunbar, who died quite recently 
at the age of thirty-two, was the son of a simple slave who had 
found refuge in Canada. His youth, full of miseries and of pri- 
vations, and his most simple education had ill prepared him for 
the trade of writer. After having started as a lift boy, he began 
to educate himself and to write poetry, which he took to like 
measles, as he loved to say. Everything was against him, even 
the language, that detestable jargon of American Negroes, in 
which he wrote touching poems of humble life and the fireside. 

W. E. Burghardt du Bois tells 1 us with reason that the Ne- 
groes perhaps best incarnate the fundamental spirit of indepen- 

1 See his curious work, The. Souls of Black Folk, recently published by A. 
Constable, a mixture of the dreams of a poet and the meditations of a 
philosopher on the miseries and hopes of his black brethren. 



dence of the United States ; that America has no more national 
music than that of the gentle and at the same time wild 
melodies of black souls, just as American folk-lore would be non- 
existent were it not for that of Redskins and Negroes. The 
Negroes form in America, the land of dollars, the only oasis where 
the Ideal and where Faith may find refuge, so says somewhere 
the same du Bois. Elsewhere he goes on to tell us that the 
United States would not be the imposing United States of our 
day without the help of the Negro race. There is no doubt a 
partial truth behind this exaggeration. The Negroes have 
become flesh of the American flesh and blood of her blood in 
having suffered and toiled with the great founders of the United 
States as also in the love which they bear to their common 

In spite of the lateness and insufficiency of the technical 
instruction which American Negroes have received, they have 
found the means of distinguishing themselves in this sphere. 
The Patent Office of New York, for instance, proves that up 
to 1900, 357 patents were taken out by coloured people. 
In the United States, where aptitude for industrial and com- 
mercial affairs is considered as a proof of intellectual superiority, 
it is interesting to note that coloured commercial men are 
already so numerous that they have been able to establish a 
special association, viz., the National Negro Busvuess League 
whose members are counted by the thousand. 



BUT when the slaves of the prejudice of races see themselves 
forced to render justice to the Negro intelligence which is equal 
in every way to that of the Whites, they console themselves, at 
the risk of being taxed with partiality, with the thought of the 
" innate " immorality of the blacks. 

Herein we find a regrettable inferiority, so say the detractors 
of Negroes, and with them all the anthropologists who believe 
in the " fatality " of blood and of colour. This accusation must 
fall before facts. In vain do the enemies of the Negro race 
endeavour to convince us that their bad qualities increase with 
education. Statistics, to which belongs the decisive voice, are 
a standing refutation of their assertion. Moreover, where Negro 
criminality is very great, it deserves a special absolution. 

The coloured population is still going through one of its 
most critical periods. In one day it found itself thrown from 
slavery into freedom, without any moral or material resources. 
It was necessary to cut a path through life at the cost of 
superhuman efforts. Far from being encouraged by its old 
masters in the way of moral perfection, it has never ceased 
to be the butt of their railleries and persecutions. The North, 
in its desire to humiliate the South, did the greatest harm to 
these children of nature in according to them there and then 
the fullest political rights. Called to vote, the Negroes, with 
all their limitations and illiteracy, did their best to envenom 
still further their relations with the Whites. Vain like children 
and intoxicated with the power which came so suddenly into 
their hands, they lost all sense of reality. Work being to them 


synonymous witli slavery, they considered all occupation to be 
incompatible with liberty. Idle and vain, they played with 
life like dogs do with objects which fall between their paws. 
In their heedlessness and want of comprehension of the world 
which they entered without the least preparation, they very 
soon lost all balance, together with that little Christian morality 
which had been taught them in servitude. Those who had had 
the benefit of a liberal education were soon discouraged by 
the disdain of the Whites and the difficulty of earning their 

The number of coloured declassds was growing, as all could 
see, and with it the number of criminals. Little by little their 
eyes were opened. Men of goodwill and initiative from among 
the Whites of the North, like General Armstrong, and from among 
Negroes, like Booker Washington, saw that in the present state of 
things the future belonged to professional teaching, and they 
directed their efforts on this side. Thus a second revolution 
took place in the inner life of Negroes which made them better 
men and more dignified. Even apart from these extenuating 
circumstances, the Negroes need not lower their heads before 
the Whites. It would be fastidious to compare in detail the 
number of white criminals with that of coloured people. Let 
us note, however, that the increase of coloured inhabitants in a 
locality does not increase the rate of criminality. The propor- 
tion remains the same. The Negroes are especially accused of 
being at variance with the Code in the North. In this, Negro 
writers like Booker Washington and Professor du Bois, &c., tell 
us there is nothing astonishing. The Negroes come there 
especially from the South, living on the outskirts of society 
sometimes for reasons known to the police of the localities from 
which they come, and sometimes as immigrants looking for 

But when they have reached the North, they find themselves 
subject to the persecutions of the syndicates of work. Discour- 
aged and famished, they often succumb to the temptations of 
despair and misery. 

But in the North as well as in the South the number of 
convictions in no way corresponds with the criminality of Negroes. 
The jury composed of Whites is frankly hostile to them. Not 


only do the police harass them and bring them before tribunals 
for the least thing, but these tribunals also condemn them 
for the smallest offences. In certain Southern States there is 
even a kind of special premium which gives an impetus to the 
conviction of Negroes. For their keep in the prisons brings in 
considerable profits to the States, to say nothing of the middle- 
man. A Negro prisoner as such is obliged to work on farms 
and in mines and industries. It is calculated that a prisoner 
generally brings in about 750 francs to the State (J. A. Hobson). 
In most cases White contractors, worse than the old planters, 
harshly exploit their work and enrich themselves at their 
expense. Everyone, from the State to the contractor, is thus 
interested in heavy penalties. For the longer the imprisonment, 
the more the revenues of the State and of the exploiter of 
Negro labour increase. 

Owing to the prejudices and the hatred of the judges, the 
Negroes have to put up with convictions which are often 
unjust, and which are nearly always more severe than those 
meted out to Whites. Frequently, when a disorder breaks 
out in a Negro centre, a disorder the causes of which are 
often mysterious, a kind of raffle takes place among them. 
Arrested, accused, and condemned to pay large fines, the poor 
Blacks find it impossible to pay. A White benefactor then appears, 
and, after having reimbursed the sums fixed by the tribunal, 
takes the Negroes into his service in virtue of a public contract. 

These shocking abuses of judicial power ought rather to 
increase the sum of White criminality, which is thus weighted 
with the charge of partiality and injustice ! They are made, 
however, to increase that of the Blacks. 

After all, can one decently ask from a race exasperated by all 
kinds of barbarous and unjust treatment, that self-respect and 
moral dignity which constitute the best barriers against 
criminal leanings ? 

Let us add that certain of their crimes are only of a transitory 
character. Such are the small thefts which are so objected to 
in Negroes. During the period of slavery the Blacks were 
deprived of all property. Everything which they succeeded in 
acquiring belonged by right to their masters. The Negro, not 
being able to take possession of the property of another, did not 


really steal. He displaced but in no way diminished his 
master's wealth. The latter in any case remained the 
proprietor of everything which belonged to his slaves. Booker 
Washington tells the funny story of a slave who after stealing 
his master's chickens justified himself in this way: "Now, 
Massa, it is true you have a little less chicken ; but, Massa, you 
have a little more Negro." Conceptions rooted in the Negro 
conscience for centuries cannot disappear in a summer's night. 
Let us content ourselves with saying that really educated 
Negroes are unharmed by them. This is an evident proof 
that theft is not in the Negro blood. It is only the temporary 
result of a special mentality, of a particular state of soul, of 
which the Whites are in the first place the most guilty. 

The same applies to their family life. One reproaches them 
with immorality, forgetting that marriage and the family only 
date among coloured folk from the emancipation. In the time 
of slavery there were neither husbands, wives, parents, nor child- 
ren. The master disposed of the life and well-being of his slaves 
as of his other chattels. Mulattoes, who number more than two 
millions, are there to bear testimony to the respect of the plant- 
ers for the chastity of negro women in general and for their 
own conjugal life in particular ! The women were separated from 
their husbands as it pleased their masters, the children were 
transported if necessary far from their parents, the young girls 
were delivered to the caprice of the planters and their employees, 
and all this with the aid of the law, which admitted no re- 
sistance on the part of those interested ; such is the account of 
family life in the old days. How could it flourish in a milieu 
from which one never ceased to banish it ? 

The liberty accorded to men of colour was powerless to revive 
in a day virtues which perhaps never existed. One must allow 
time to work. Seconded by the moral and intellectual culture 
which Negroes of to-day enjoy, they will be allowed to rise to the 
level of the Whites. Already a perfect morality is established 
among Negro women who have passed through the school. 
The inquiry made by Mrs. E. C. Hobson and Mrs. E. C. Hopkins, 
at the request of the administrators of the John Slater Founda- 
tion, 1 furnishes us with proofs of it. 
1 The of the John Slater Fund Occasional Papers, No. IX. 1896. 


Whenever the vitality and the future of the White races are 
dealt with, there is much concern as to the birth-rate amongst 
them. With reason or without, there is seen in the numerical 
increase of the population a symptom of health and a criterion 
as to the part which history has in store for it. From this point 
of view, the coloured folk of the States are far ahead of the 
Russians and the Italians, who are regarded as the most prolific 
of peoples. Whereas other Americans, by themselves and not 
including immigrants, are diminishing in number, the coloured 
population never ceases to grow. 

Since 1860 (we must leave out the period before the libera- 
tion of the Negroes, which was marked by an incessant arrival 
of slaves from Africa) the Negro population has more than 
doubled. From about five millions in 1870 it became six 
millions and a half in 1880, seven millions and a half in 1890, 
and about nine millions in 1900. 

At the present time about 280 American counties, with an 
extent of about 150,000 square miles, contain a Negro popula- 
tion numbering far more than that of the Whites, there being 
about 130 Blacks to every 100 Whites. 

A serious crime against chastity weighs heavily on the Negro 
conscience, viz., the rape of White women. This fact saddens 
profoundly the best among the Negroes, as also those Whites 
who really sympathise with them. Without wishing to find 
excuses for Negro criminality on this matter, we must observe 
that its gravity is apt to be measured by the indignation of 
the Whites rather than by the true number of crimes committed. 
Lynching singularly changes the nature of justice in very often 
making people suspected of a crime first the accused and then 
the victims. The Negroes reply, however, with reason that the 
crime of rape is not unknown among the Whites, who indeed 
practise it on a large scale. 

Immoral men are equally to be despised, whatever may be 
the colour of their skin. White men who commit this crime 
against Negro women are equal to the Negroes who are guilty 
of it against White women. Let us not forget, however, that all 
the cases of lynching are not solely due to outrages against 
White women. According to certain American statistics, there 
were lynched in the Southern States, from 1891 to 1902, 1,862 


persons, of whom only 1,448 were for attacks against women, 
770 for murders, &c. 

This kind of justice, however, or rather injustice, has the 
effect of giving rise to the very crimes which it is intended 
to stifle. Exasperated by the stupid ferocity of crowds, Negroes 
avenge themselves in multiplying the crimes which seem to 
touch their persecutors the most. American legislators under- 
stand this so well that they are now waging a war to the 
death against lynching in general, and against that caused by 
the rape of white women in particular. 

The profound transformations which are being effected in the 
lives of the Blacks will alone cause this crime to cease. Both 
coloured agriculturists and educated Negroes are exempt from 
it. Its complete disappearance only depends on the Whites 
themselves. Let them try to be more just towards the Negroes, 
let them strive to make amends towards them for the crimes of 
the past, let them be penetrated with the idea that the virtue of 
a coloured woman is equal to that of a white, let them beware 
of lynching in particular (that incomparable breeding ground for 
the multiplication of evil instincts), and this crime which desolates 
the Whites of the South will gradually die away. It will entirely 
disappear when the two races shall have understood that they 
only form two arms of the same body, and that on their friend- 
ship and fraternal work depends the happiness of the Southern 



To understand the extent of the progress effected by the 
coloured people, one ought to compare the point they have reached 
with that from which they started. Negroes have only been 
on the territory of the United States two hundred and fifty years. 1 

The historians, it is true, mention certain transportations of 
slaves brought there before 1650, but the number of these 
" immigrants " was very small, and never exceeded from two to 
three hundred. 

The period of the forced immigration of the Blacks into 
North America begins in 1672 with the activity of the African 
Royal Company. According to Bancroft, the number of slaves 
rose in 1754 to 293,000. Forty years later it exceeded 700,000. 
At the time of the enfranchisement of the negroes in 1863, it 
was already four and a half millions. 

It is important to notice that the importation of Negroes con- 
tinued incessantly during all this time. If it is impossible to 
state precisely the annual arrivals, we can nevertheless conclude 
that they were very considerable. Here is an indirect proof of it. 

Between 1790 and 1860 the Negro population had mounted 
up from 757,000 to 4,450,000 that is to say, it became six 
times greater in seventy years. Between 1860 and 1900 the 
Negroes increased from four millions and a half to nine millions 
(in round numbers) in other words, they doubled in forty 
years. It is also generally supposed that their birth-rate even 

1 Bancroft, History of the United States, vol. I. ; G. W. Williams, History 
of the Negro Race in America, voL I., etc. 



: eased during the first years after the emancipation I Now 
this fact shows that the extraordinary increase of Negroes, in the 
period between 1790 and 1860, ought to be attributed to the 
fresh slaves who never ceased pouring in from Africa. In 
reality the slave trade continued to prosper in the United 
States up to I860. 1 

Several authors mention scandalous captures by English 
cruisers about this time of slave-ships belonging to American 
citizens. " In the space of a year and a half, 1859-1860, eighty- 
five slave-ships were armed at New York, and these ships alone 
transported in a year from 30,000 to 60,000 slaves " (du Bois). 

In 1858 twenty-one Negro slave-ships were seized by 
English cruisers. Although the Puritans of the North con- 
demned slavery among themselves, perhaps because the 
climatic and industrial conditions made it profitless, they did not, 
therefore, despise the very lucrative commerce in human flesh. 
They armed slave-ships, transported slaves into South Carolina, 
and brought back materials for the construction of ships. 

The city of New York was the chief port in the world for 
this infamous trade. It shared this sad celebrity with Portland 
and Boston. From these three places there sailed frequent 
cargoes for the Southern States. 

It follows from all these data that the length of time the full 
Black population has lived in the United States, can only be 
fixed on an average at about one hundred and twenty-five 
years, because for the small number which came in the seven- 
teenth century we have an immense number only dating from 
the eighteenth century, and a still greater mass which only 
arrived in the nineteenth century. Moreover, the geographical 
origins of the American Negroes are very varied. Slaves were 
obtained from the Congo, the Gambia, the Niger, Zanzibar, 
Central Africa, as well as from Guinea and the Gold Coast. 

They arrived from everywhere. Among them were the Nigri- 
tians of Soudan, the Bantus from southern equatorial Africa, 
and the Guineans, with their subdivisions including the Kroo, 
Grebo and Bassa, etc. When they embarked they were real 
savages, and were long kept in the same condition by the 
planters. They laboured like domestic animals and were 

1 Prof, du Bois, Suppression of the Slave Trade. See also The American 
Slave Trade, by Spears. 


regarded as such by their masters. " The slave constituted a 
piece of personal movable property, and could be sold or mort- 
gaged, or given in bail as his master wished " (G. M. Stroud). 
"I tried on the 22nd of June to prevent the Indians and Negroes 
from being placed on the same footing as horses and pigs, but I 
did not succeed." l And still, in spite of these persecutions, in 
spite of the relatively recent date of their arrival in the United 
States, we have seen the manifest progress which the Negroes 
have realised. 

Already very distinct biologically from their African brothers, 
they serve as a living proof of what the influence of the milieu 
can accomplish in the case of very distinct races. In addition, 
their intellectual and moral progress, achieved in so short a 
lapse of time, demonstrates that all human races are capable of 
rising to the level of the Whites. 

When we examine the position of Negroes in the other coun- 
tries of the world, we arrive at the same conclusion. With the 
change of milieu, understood in its widest sense, their physical 
and moral type changes. 

Let us take, for example, the island of Jamaica, in which 
the Negroes were enfranchised in 1838. The beginning of their 
liberty was not of the happiest. Aroused from their age-long 
torpor and given the dignity of free men, whilst having at the 
same time the mentality of beasts of burden, the poor Blacks 
made themselves conspicuous by their extravagance of un- 
bridled savagery and the heedlessness which characterises 
schoolboys freed from their master's control. But twenty years 
were enough to recall them to reality. To-day Mr. W. P. 
Livingston, the conscientious historian of the Negroes of Jamaica, 
states that the 610,000 Negroes of that island form an honest and 
hard-working population. We can only marvel at their progress. 
This incessant forward march authorises us to entertain the best 
hopes for the future. Far from being the victims of civilisation, 
the Blacks grow and develop under its influence. 

It thus becomes hazardous to doubt their possible amelioration 
and their capacity for drawing near the Whites morally, intel- 
lectually, and physically. It is useless to try to have us 
believe in the persistence of the Negro type throughout the 

1 Slavery in Massachusetts, extracted from the Journal du Juge Sewatt, 1716. 
quoted by Kate Brousseau. 

x 2 


course of centuries. This affirmation altogether lacks logic 
from an evolutionary point of view. Since it is the milieu 
which has fashioned the Negro, it is impossible to question 
its transforming influence. The fact that Negroes residing 
in certain places and exposed for centuries to the same influences 
of climate and culture succeed in retaining their type intact, 
forces on us a conclusion in favour of the action of the milieu. The 
adversaries of its decisive action in the formation of races love 
to quote the population of the valley of the Nile. That of 
to-day resembles in a striking way that of some thousands of 
years ago, as represented in the images and sculptures of that 
time. But, in truth, a change in these conditions would have 
been rather surprising. In this classic land of immobility 
nothing has changed. Why then should its population be an 
exception to the rule ? 

The milieu being identical, including the way of working 
(even the tools have scarcely varied), mode of nourishment also 
and climate having always remained the same, the type ought to 
be more stable, more crystallised, and more difficult to modify. 
But let us be patient. Let but civilisation begin to operate there 
for one or more centuries, let the inhabitants undergo the 
equalising influence of its conditions of living and thinking, 
and it will follow that traits considered immutable will melt 
like wax under the influence of heat. 

The conclusion therefore forces itself on us that there are no 
inferior and superior races, but only races and peoples living out- 
side or within the influence of culture. The appearance of civilisa- 
tion and its evolution among certain White peoples and within 
a certain geographical latitude is only the effect of circumstances. 
The Negroes, wrongly considered as occupying for ever one of 
the lowest rungs on the ladder of humanity, bring, by the fact of 
their raising themselves to the level of the most civilised Whites, 
a powerful argument in favour of the equality of human 
capabilities. When, in addition, we consider the progress 
accomplished by Black Americans in a century and a quarter, in 
the midst of almost insurmountable difficulties, it is not an 
exaggeration to affirm that under the influence of the same 
causes the Negroes in the space of one or two centuries will 
have acquired physiologically and intellectually the type which 
prevails in the American milieu. 



WHEN the thermometer is powerless to indicate imperceptible 
modifications of heat, our physicists use a much simpler method ; 
they transform this heat, by means of the thermo-electric 
battery and the thermo-multiplicator, into electricity, whose 
slightest gradations can be easily seized and controlled. Our 
method has not even had to have recourse to transformation 
of facts. It has been enough to examine them in their simplest 
expression. Instead of losing ourselves in clouds of thought 
and in vague formulas, repeated without discernment for 
centuries, we have thought it possible and useful to look 
more closely at their contents. Sweeping away articles of 
faith which have become obsolete, we have simply recalled the 
logical processes which occasioned their genesis. Instead of 
studying races according to the divergences of their cephalic 
index, their colour, their height, their facial angles, or their 
collective psychology, we have commenced by redoing the work 
already done, and submitting the accepted ideas to a preliminary 
verification of their constituent elements. And just as a light 
in a dark field illumines the dark parts and gives them an 
unsuspected appearance, so everything has been changed in the 
domain of races. From the moment when, renouncing 
acquired ideas, we only wished to admit those based on observa- 
tion and controlled by the recent conquests of science, the facts 
have assumed a new significance. 

The analysis of all the successive theories on inequality 
created in us before everything else a profound astonishment at 
the credulity and the inertness of our thought. Successive 
generations only added faith to the same error, and this faith 


which always favoured its growth also favoured its persistence. 
As all the appearances seemed to support the dogma of in- 
equality, it was adopted with the first superficial sensations 
which affected us from without. This belief was thus as 
deeply rooted as was long ago the faith in the movement of the 
sun round the earth. 

Some time will no doubt elapse before science, emancipated 
from the prejudices which have prevailed and multiplied for 
centuries, will succeed in making the truth triumph. All these 
measurements, with their imposing numbers and scientific 
pretensions, as also the theoretic observations and deductions, 
resolve themselves, as we have seen, into a nebulous doctrine 
which affirms many things and explains nothing. 

The exact instruments which anthropologists and especially 
" craniometrists " use, offer us fantastical data. The results of 
their operations are deposited in thousands of volumes ; and yet 
what is their real bearing ? In examining them closely one can 
hardly attribute to them even a descriptive value, so much do 
they contradict and destroy each other. 

We have seen, for example, how precarious are the affirma- 
tions of craniometry, which constitutes, however, the most 
developed section of anthropometry. Although the instruments 
which it places at the disposal of savants are very numerous, 
yet the ways of using them are still more varied. The lack of 
unity in the observations and the contradictory ends which 
those who use them seem to pursue, cause numerous misunder- 
standings, which end in chaotic affirmations. In bringing 
forward the most indisputable data and in proceeding to a 
kind of cross-examination, we arrive at a conclusion quite 
different from that which the adherents of the dogmas of races 
are anxious to impose on us, and which so many learned 
demographs, politicians, novelists, and statesmen blindly accept. 
When we go through the list of external differences which 
appear to divide men, we find literally nothing which can 
authorise their division into superior and inferior beings, into 
masters and pariahs. If this division exists in our thought, it 
only came there as the result of inexact observations and false 
opinions drawn from them. 

The science of inequality is emphatically a science of White 


people. It is they who have invented it and set it going, who 
have maintained, cherished, and propagated it, thanks to their 
observations and their deductions. Deeming themselves 
greater than men of other colours, they have elevated into 
superior qualities all the traits which are peculiar to themselves, 
commencing with the whiteness of the skin and the pliancy of 
the hair. But nothing proves that these vaunted traits are traits 
of real superiority. 

"If the Chinese and the Egyptians had judged our ancestors 
as we too often judge foreign races," says Quatrefages, " they 
would have found in them many traits of inferiority such as 
this white skin in which we take so much pride, and which they 
might have regarded as showing an irremediable etiolation." 
This is what dogmatic anthropologists seem at all times to have 
forgotten. Human varieties have not been studied like those 
of animals and plants, that is to say, without conventional pre- 
judices as to their respective values and as to those which are 
superior and inferior. Facts have often yielded to sentiments. 
We have been persuaded, with the help of our feelings, to accept 
our own preferences rather than impartial observations, and our 
own prejudices rather than scientific laws. 

In pursuing this course the elementary commandments of 
experimental science are transgressed. The majority of the 
anthropologists, faithful in this respect to the scholastic teachings, 
have begun by assuming the inequality of human beings as an 
axiom. On this preliminary basis they have built an imposing 
edifice, but really one of fictitious solidity. 

A radical condemnation of principle weighs on anthropology 
each time that it exceeds its descriptive limits in order to affect 
the attitude of a dogmatic science. It becomes teleological, and in 
that way is deprived of all value. If " anthropo-sociology" this 
too much vaunted branch of anthropology, had adopted this in- 
dispensable maxim of the experimental method, that every 
theory is only true till facts are discovered which are opposed 
to it, or which coming within its limits burst its barriers, this 
quasi-science would have had a short career ! With what justice 
could not one apply to dogmatic anthropology and to the 
phalanx of its disciples what Claude Bernard says of the "schol- 
astic" method, so severely judged by positive science ? " Scholas- 


ticism never doubts its starting-point, to which it wishes to 
attribute everything. It has a proud and intolerant mind, and 
never accepts contradiction, since it does not admit that its 
starting-point can change." It is thus that all the main data 
which hurl themselves against the theory of races are empty in 
its sight. Deaf to the appeal of hostile facts, its adepts are 
specially distinguished for their intrepidity in maintaining their 
theory against evidence itself. 

Commenting out of sight on the doubtful facts, and rejecting 
with scorn as worthless the observations of its adversaries, 
anthropo-sociology continues to live in its romantic hiding-place. 
It builds there, it is true, impassable walls between men with 
wide and narrow skulls, yellows and whites, tall and short men, 
those with thick and thin joints, those with small and large 
nostrils, those with straight and curved foreheads. But life 
passes above all these artificial partitions, and marches on their 
ruins towards unity. 

Hypnotised by their primordial idea, they thus bring together 
without examination everything which seems propitious to their 
theory, a theory by the way which is political rather than scientific. 
In their comparisons of the cerebral index, what does it matter 
to them to know the age or the sex of the subject, his occupa- 
tions, his intellectuality, or the state of his health ? Naturally, 
if they wish to take all these points into consideration, they 
must reject nine-tenths of the constituent elements of their 
pretended truth. 

We know, for example, that the weight of the brain varies 
in man, increasing up to the age of forty-five, and diminishing 
after that period ; that the brain grows under the influence of 
occupation ; that sex also plays a considerable part in it ; that 
the subject's state of health reacts on his cerebral struc- 
ture; that the form of the human head is often influenced 
by the pelvis of the mother ; and still with what lightness do 
they not lay hold of their rough measures, leaving on one side the 
causes of the effects observed ? They proceed with no less 
unconcern in distributing certificates of superiority among the 
ranks of human beings. After having stated that superior 
races are furthest removed from the anthropoid apes, whilst 
the inferior ones are nearer to them, they bring together all the 


facts which in this respect favour the Whites, and entirely forget 
those in which Negroes are shown to be more favoured. For 
example, we are told of the angle of the condyles that the 
Whites are in this respect nearer the monkeys than the Negroes. 
When dolichocephaly is regarded as a trait of incontestable 
superiority, they seem to forget that the majority of Europeans 
are to be classed in the miserable category of brachycephals 
whereas the Negroes belong to the dolichocephalic aristocracy ! 

If you wish to take as element of comparison the facial angle 
of Jacquart, you will be forced to arrive at the conclusion that 
the French and Spanish Basques, a nobly pure race, approach 
the Esquimaux and the Chinese. 

If we keep to the length of the forearm, or to that of 
the tibia, we fall into a number of eccentricities, where Oceanians 
accompany Europeans and Bushmen cut no sorry figure. The 
more we study the many variations which distinguish human 
beings, the more we perceive that these are in no way intended. 
They are due to accidents of climate, occupations in one word, 
of the surrounding milieu, the almost exclusive creator of the 
phenomena which vex certain obstinate anthropologists, who 
deny its incessant activity. 

It must not be forgotten that the different parts of the body 
among races called inferior do not vary simultaneously and 
in every respect from the ideal type which is adopted as basis 
for comparison. Whereas certain limbs in a Negro or an 
Australian seem to approach the simian type, other traits 
preserve their nobility (?) of form, and all this according to no 
preconceived plan, and especially with no respect for the 
colour of the skin or the relative beauty of civilisation. Thus 
are explained the supposed anomalies of races called inferior 
which are superior to us in many respects, and also those of 
superior races which so often deserve to be styled inferior. 
The beast and the angel are mixed in all human beings. 
All peoples seem equally good and bad, perfectible or sus- 
ceptible to moral and physical degradation. A kind of enchanted 
dome covers humanity. It is in vain that it exerts itself, for 
it never succeeds in surpassing certain limits. Humanity has 
its boundaries, like the earth which holds it. 



\Ve have made good progress in the sciences and in the 
increase of discoveries, but we have not succeeded in altering 
the planet. Man has grown morally and intellectually, but he 
is only, after all, a great man. He surpasses his fellows by a 
few inches morally and physically, but he never succeeds in 
differentiating himself from them so far as to overstep his 
species. In vain are irreducible physiological qualities sought 
for among human varieties, and when we examine the facts 
impartially we come finally to see their inanity. The greater 
our field of observation becomes, the more we perceive that 
organic demarcations and differences are only passing traits, 
born with time and susceptible of disappearing under its 

The work of centuries caused humanity to advance con- 
siderably, but all the same it has not permitted it to go beyond 
certain limits. Biology teaches us that there is a limit outside of 
which modifications are produced with more and more difficulty. 
A moment comes at length in which they no longer take place. 
It is within this imaginary enclosure that humanity has evolved 
for thousands of centuries. 

An athlete might exercise his muscles for ever, but he cannot 
get more strength in them after certain efforts. A porter 
would vainly try to accustom himself to increase the weight 
of his burdens; he would never succeed in raising 1000 kilos. 
A singer breaks his voice if he attempts too high notes, just as 
beyond a certain amount of intellectual overwork our nervous 
system breaks down. 

We are without doubt free to progress, but only like a goat 
tied to a post browsing within the range of the circum- 
ference. The space reserved to us is great, but it does not 
fail to be restricted. Change of conditions and hereditary 
improvement can do much, but their action does not overstep 
the real though invisible barriers. 

Thus it is dangerous to nourish oneself beyond certain limits 
fixed by nature. Each excess compromises our organism. As 
our nourishment is subordinated to our faculty of assimilation, 


so do all our intellectual and physical efforts depend on the 
circumscribed capacities of our organism. Giants constitute 
pathological cases, as certain geniuses border on neurosis and 

This is why human beings imprisoned within these inexorable 
limits have had to move or die. 

To this teaching of the past prudent minds have even added 
a curious indication for the future. Thus many biologists 
regard the White race as having arrived at the limit of its 
evolution. It cannot go higher without exposing itself to a 
great danger which "will come" to it from its own over- 
developed brain. 1 (On this subject see, among others, the studies 
of Professor Le Damany.) But what is more important is that 
all peoples and races may attain this distant frontier which the 
brain of the Whites has reached. 

We bow before the efforts and the perseverance of the dogmatic 
side of anthropology. For if the results are almost nil, it is not 
for lack of ingenuity, tenacity, and ardour that it fails to erect a 
solid structure on moving sands. 

In addition to these numerous obstacles which bar the way of 
the experts of inequality, there is another kind of insurmountable 
obstacle which makes all their efforts sterile. This is man's 
peculiar nature, which, owing to the impressionability of his being 
and the influence both of the levelling milieu and of that 
psychical life which is common fundamentally to all human 
beings, tends towards the realisation of the solidarity of races 
or (to use a more correct expression) to that of human varieties. 


In examining the world of our psychical and intellectual life, 
we have been struck with analogous phenomena. From all 
sides voices are raised in favour of our mental unity. Savage 
peoples enter triumphantly into our civilisation just as 

1 The hip of the new-born amongst white people, which is the pivot of 
flexion before birth and of deflexion after birth, is always at present at the 
limit of the normal and pathological conditions. The enlargening of the 
brain so says Le Damany causes this defect to grow, the consequence of 
which is a frequent or constant pathological condition that is, a physical 
degeneracy contrary to the actual laws of the preservation of species. 


civilised peoples fall back into barbarism. The Negroes, 
regarded as occupying the last rung on the human ladder, have 
furnished us with proofs of an unexpected evolution. Within 
the space of fifty years they have realised as much progress as 
many white peoples have done in five or six centuries. From 
the time of Julius Caesar and Tacitus until Charlemagne that 
is, eight centuries Germany realised less progress than the 
American Negroes have done since the War of Secession. After 
all, we have seen the impossibility of attributing immutable 
psychological qualities to certain peoples or races. Their virtues 
and their vices are only the effects of historic circumstances or 
of the influence of the milieu. 

The psychology of peoples has shown us the unity of their mind. 
The three principal faculties which assure us of man's exceptional 
position in the scale of living beings the faculty of abstraction, 
that of mastering his impulses, and thepower of choosing among 
his perceptions and his actions are to be met with among all 
human races. What varies is the degree of mental exercise on 
which the application of these faculties depends, and also the 
sum of accumulated tradition, to use the expression of certain 
psychologists. Herein lies all the difference which separates the 
savage from the civilised man ! Change his environment, and 
at the end of a certain number of generations, often even in the 
space of one, he will regain lost time. 

In vain is the attempt made to endow certain privileged nations 
with every virtue by overwhelming their adversaries with con- 
demnation to eternal inferiority ! Reality irreverently destroys 
our puerile classifications, and, according to the words of the 
Gospel, makes the last to be first. 

The history of civilisation is only a continual come and go 
of peoples and races ! All, without distinction of their biological 
characteristics, are summoned to this great struggle for life 
wherein we fight for human progress and happiness. AD the 
ethnical elements can take part in it, all can contend for places 
of honour in it. Such is the general import of our biological 
and psychological equality, which remains intact underneath all 
our superficial divisions. 

In the present state of science it has become impossible for 
us to distinguish the ethnical origins of peoples. The constituent 


elements are so much intermingled that the most ardent parti- 
sans of inequality must admit the relationship of all the races. 
The " purity of blood " which we create at will, and which we 
find in the animal world, becomes impossible in the human 
milieu. The Negroes are related to the Whites, who are linked 
to the Yellows, as these last have common links both with 
Negroes and Whites. On the road which separates them we 
only meet with links which unite them. 

Nevertheless, we foresee an objection which certain minds 
who are satisfied with simple arguments are sure to make. 
"Does the Negro ever cease in spite of everything to be a 
black, or the Chinese a yellow ? Would the author have us 
understand that between a Redskin, a Papuan, or a White there 
are no differences ? " Far from wishing to hide them, we have 
done nothing but look for them. They exist, and we have laid 
stress on a considerable number of them, but they are only the 
passing products of the milieu. Having come about as the 
result of external circumstances, they disappear in the same 
way. As it is impossible to shut up human souls in dogmatic 
and eternal formulas, it is equally impossible to enclose human 
beings in immutable racial moulds. But more. As we have 
had the opportunity of proving, the word race cannot be used 
to determine the specific character of the floating distinctions 
between members of the human unity. 

In one word, the term race is only a product of our 
mental activities, the work of our intellect, and outside all 
reality. Science had need of races as hypothetical limits, and 
these "products of art," to use Lamarck's expression, have 
become concrete realities for the vulgar. Races as irreducible 
categories only exist as fictions in our brains. They exist in us 
but not outside us. We can never sufficiently insist on this fact, 
which is elementary and undeniable to all truly scientific minds 
and to those desirous above all of ascertaining the truth. 

There are thus human varieties based on the differences 
caused by the changing influences of the milieu. Owing to the 
increase in the number of the factors which will be common in 
the evolution of future humanity, these varieties will gradually 
lose their over-marked differences. But humanity, whilst 
advancing towards unity, will hardly attain it in the absolute 


meaning of the word. Its fragments, dispersed all over the 
globe, will naturally retain under the influence of different 
milieux certain distinctive traits. The duration and intensity 
of these, however, will be all the more transient in that the 
relations and intercourse between human beings will become 
easier and more active. Let this reassure all those who tremble 
in anticipation of a sort of uniformity in the humanity of the 
future. For human unity does not signify human uniformity 
and monotony. 


The truths concerning man are confirmed when they find 
their application and their confirmation in his everyday life. 
The conception of human races in a "conventional" or 
" conditional " sense prevents us before everything else from 
regarding them as fatally divergent. On the ruins, therefore, of 
the belief in superior and inferior races, the possible develop- 
ment and amelioration of all human beings arise. Their 
evolution, having become of universal application, makes their 
extermination criminal. 

The principle of human equality takes away the right of 
killing so-called inferior people, just as it destroys the right 
claimed by some of dominating others. If all peoples are equal, 
if their different appearances are only the result of changing 
circumstances, in virtue of what principle is it allowable 
to destroy their happiness and to compromise their right to 
independence ? 

Humanity, looked at from this point of view, becomes a 
concrete conception. Its solidarity is seen to be its real good. 
Regarded apart from the equality of races, or rather varieties, 
integral humanity becomes an expression devoid of meaning. 

Once the " prejudice of races " has disappeared, we must 
acknowledge the beneficial reaction of this belief on the 
" inner " life of peoples. As we have shown, modern nations 
have been formed outside and very often in spite of the con- 
ceptions of races. When once amalgamated, ethnical principles 
regarded as most hostile have contributed towards creating 
the national principle. There are no longer "pure" peoples, 
if ever there were any. 


The more advanced a people and the greater its vitality, so 
much the more intermixed with others is it found to be. Those 
which march at the van of civilisation, like the French, English, 
German, Italian, or those of the United States, all possess blood 
which is richest in heterogeneous elements. What Paul Broca 
said of the inhabitants of France namely, that they exhibit 
every known type of cephalic index is applicable to all civilised 
peoples. All those whose origins have been studied show the 
same richness of ethnical elements, which, intercrossed, have 
contributed towards forming their national unities. 

Purity of blood is thus only a myth, and its talismanic virtue is 
found to be irremediably compromised. Unity of blood retreats 
to the background. What constitutes modern peoples is the 
solidarity of their moral and material interests. Switzerland, 
officially known as the union of four different races (really we 
find some dozens here as elsewhere), constitutes, for all that, a 
people united in an ideal way, owing to the moral cohesion of all 
its inhabitants. The same applies to other peoples. Between 
a Frenchman of the Pas-de-Calais and a Frenchman of the 
Alpes-Maritimes there is without doubt more divergence than 
between a Dane and a Norwegian. Yet the two former have 
one common country and the latter two diverse countries. 

Once the nightmare of races is dissipated, we easily under- 
stand what Fatherland in the human sense of the word 

How miserable seem to us to-day all the political and socio- 
logical doctrines founded on the principle of blood ! 

Of all the vulgar methods of sparing oneself the trouble of 
studying profoundly the moral and social factors which influence 
the human mind, the grossest, according to John Stuart Mill, is 
that which consists in attributing diversities of conduct and of 
character to those natural differences which are as proper to 
peoples as to individuals. 

In the light of the facts brought together in this volume, 
we see the immense amount of nonsense connected with the 
racial theories of peoples. If patriotism was bound to our con- 
ceptions of races, what incessant metamorphoses would it not 
have to undergo ? France, believed for centuries to be Gallic, 
is suddenly revealed to be Germanic ! Must we under these 


circumstances embrace our German brothers, and at the same 
time espouse German hatreds and sympathies ? Through such 
historic discoveries as to races, we should logically have to 
modify our loves, hopes, ideals, and sentiments ! 

The true conception of humanity, far from destroying the 
sentiment of patriotism, only fortifies and enhan es it. It is 
no longer a brutal instinct of blood, but a high expression of 
community of ideals and of moral and material interests. With 
the erroneous principles of pure and irreducible races, and with 
the false theory of organic inequalities, we arrive, fatally and 
inevitably, at internal strifes and inextricable misunderstand- 
ings. Once, however, these principles are abolished, we under- 
stand the obvious and absolute fraternity of the inhabitants of 
the same country, together with the possibility and the necessity 
of advancing towards its political and social realisat'on. 

As the differences among men are thus only individual, there 
will theoretically be no more room for internal and external 
hatreds, as there will be no more for the social and political 
inferiorities of classes. 

On the ruins, therefore, of the falsehood of races, solidarity 
and true equality arise, both founded on a rational sentiment 
of respect for human dignity. 

Finot, Jean 

1523 R: ce prejudice